1. Hi Alison and the Midstory team!

    I am a Police Officer with the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) and really appreciate your publishing this informative article!
    I love the MWRD and all the truly amazing work we have done and continue to do for the residents of Chicagoland. Thus, I am excited to see an article like yours above which is shared in such an engaging format!

    I do have a concern however about one sentence in the article which gave me some consternation: “But first, an existing canal connecting the Chicago River to the Des Plaines River needed to be removed. With a blast, the junction’s canal was obliterated overnight using a dynamite explosion. What was left was a diluted open sewer.”

    This really sent me down a rabbit hole where I learned more about the geographic history of the region, including the fact that the suburb of Blue Island really was an island some 14,000 years or so ago!

    Anyway, through all my research the only canal I can imagine to which you are referring would be the I&M Canal. However, that canal was not closed until 1933 (https://iandmcanal.org/canalhistory/).

    Can you identify for us the canal to which you are referring?


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