Environmental Stewardship

McCook Reservoir Stage 1 Completed

  • Environmental Stewardship



Central Division

Vulcan Plays Critical Role

The first stage of the McCook Reservoir project, which seeks to provide flood and pollution control to 3.1 million people in the Chicago area, was formally unveiled. The McCook Reservoir is part of the Tunnel and Reservoir Plan (TARP). TARP is the Chicago area’s plan for cost-effectively complying with federal and state water quality standards. TARP’s main goals are to protect Lake Michigan – the region’s drinking water supply – from raw sewage pollution, improve the water quality of area rivers and streams, and provide an outlet for floodwaters to reduce street and basement sewage backup flooding.

Vulcan Materials Company Central Division has a pivotal role in the development of the McCook Reservoir, which will be the largest of three reservoirs in the TARP system. The McCook Reservoir is designed to capture rain event overflow caused by combined sewer capacity constraints. Vulcan is mining Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) property in order to create space in which MWRD can operate the reservoir.

McCook Quarry

MWRD Principal Civil Engineer Carmen Scalise, Vulcan Project Manager Jessica Orrico and MWRD Associate Civil Engineer Pat Jensen

The mining is underway in two stages: the first stage, completed in 2017, resulted in 3.5 billion gallons of storage and the second stage will result in 6.5 billion gallons of storage (to be completed in 2029). MWRD estimates the reservoir to provide more than $114 million per year in flood damage reduction benefits to 3,100,000 people in 37 communities.

The reservoir is 300 feet deep and 3,000 feet long. You can fit more than 11 Soldier Field Stadiums inside it and it is nearly deep enough to stack another 11 on top of that. When complete, this will be the largest reservoir of this type in the world.

For more information, please visit MWRD.com