For its efforts in constructing the Thornton Composite Reservoir in South Holland, Ill., Hanson Material Service (HMS) and Chicago Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) were recognized for outstanding and innovative reclamation techniques during the annual lllinois Association of Aggregate Producers (IAAP) Aggregate Miner Safety Conference held on March 1, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Springfield, Ill.
“The Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Office of Mines and Minerals congratulates Hanson Material Services and the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago as winner of the 2016 Illinois Mined Land Reclamation Award,” said James Hafliger, director of the IDNR Office of Mines and Minerals, when presenting the award.
The Thornton Quarry consists of more than 700 acres across three different lobes. The west lobe is separated from the main lobe by the Union Pacific rail lines and the north lobe is separated from the main lobe by Interstate 80, The north lobe of the quarry has been reclaimed and is now part of the MWRD’s Tunnel and Reservoir Plan (TARP) connected to the MWRD’s extensive network of deep tunnels.
It is designed to benefit 556,000 people in 14 communities throughout the South Side of Chicago and south suburbs. It protects 182,000 structures, such as homes, businesses and other facilities; and improves water quality in the Calumet River and Calumet-Sag Channel by collecting combined sewer overflows before entering waterways.
The new reservoir’s 7.9-billion-gal. capacity holds these overflows before pumping the water back via the 30-foot tunnel to the Calumet Water Reclamation Plant to be treated.
In only a few months of service, the Thornton Reservoir is already making an instant impact. The reservoir first took water on the evening of November 26, 2015. By the time the rain stopped the following day, the reservoir was filled to a depth of 17 ft. and held approximately 400 million gal. of water. There were no combined sewer overflows in the reservoir’s service area during the rain event, pointing directly to the effectiveness of the reservoir.