Friday, August 26, 2005

Chicago River - The River that flows backwards


Engineering marvels are not new to us. From the tall skyscrapers to the magnificent dams… Civil Engineers have given life to various blueprints from the drawing table.

This one is totally out of the world…Engineers from Chicago in 1900s have achieved something totally unbelievable…they made a River flow backwards. The Chicago River that flows through the downtown actually was flowing towards the Michigan Lake before 1900…

In 1900, for health reasons the course of the river was changed, making it world’s only river to flow backwards. In 1854, a cholera epidemic took the lives of 5 1/2 per cent of the population. Deaths from typhoid fever between 1860 and 1900 averaged 65 per 100,000 population a year. The worst year was 1891, when the typhoid death rate was 174 per 100,000 persons. Disease resulting from water polluted by human waste brought about a state of emergency.

In 1887 it was decided to attempt a bold engineering feat and reverse the Chicago River. Rudolph Hering, chief engineer of the drainage and water supply commission, noted that the Great Lakes drainage system was separated from the Mississippi River drainage system by a summit or ridge approximately 8 feet high located some 12 miles west of the lake shore.



A plan was evolved to cut through that ridge with a canal from the southerly tip of the south branch of the Chicago River and carry the wastes away from the lake and down to the Mississippi River through the Des Plaines and Illinois rivers. The Metropolitan Sanitary District of Greater Chicago was created in 1889 to effect this plan.The project was completed in 1900.

Who said "Man cannot triumph over nature"
I think it should be rewritten as "Man cannot triumph over nature outside Chicago".

15 Comments:

At 12:30 AM, August 26, 2005, Blogger Eshwar said...

wow! absolutely awesome. Thats unbelievable. Kewl pics too.

 
At 11:16 AM, August 26, 2005, Blogger Aravind said...

Too god man... I have never heard of this one!!!
Another proof of
"Manithanaal mudiyaadhadhu edhuvum illai"

 
At 1:37 PM, August 26, 2005, Blogger Rags said...

Thanks Aravind linking my blog in yours...Its always good to get some Publicity...

 
At 12:06 AM, August 28, 2005, Blogger ada-paavi!!!! said...

awesome feat no doubt, but is it for the good? i mean lives have been saved no doubt, but wat about the ecological issues??

 
At 11:15 AM, August 28, 2005, Blogger prasanna said...

Interesting piece. I wish it could be as easy as this with us in India. After all these years of pondering over merging rivers we have just started it with two small ones.. And in other part of the world rivers are made to run back. Should i call this irony? Anyway, thanks for the info, pal.

 
At 7:54 PM, August 28, 2005, Blogger Rags said...

Vatsan - Basically Chicago River is being used for letting out sewage waste of the city...Infact by reversing the river... Lot of sea organisms in the Michigan Lake has been saved...

Prasanna - I share your feeling...

 
At 10:45 PM, August 28, 2005, Blogger Shiva said...

interesting fact man.. btw, did you shoot these pictures ? .. awesome..

 
At 1:16 PM, August 29, 2005, Blogger mitr_bayarea said...

great information...and the photo was nicely shot.....

 
At 2:54 PM, September 11, 2005, Blogger Arvind said...

wow, nice news - picking some GK here :-)

Thanks ! and yes the pic is equally awesome too !

 
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At 4:33 AM, October 31, 2008, Blogger babafemi ebenezer said...

wow! how come am only just hearing about it? this is an unsung, must see, man made wonder of the world.

 
At 4:26 AM, November 14, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a red bottom like a refrigeratior monkey.

 
At 11:18 AM, May 09, 2010, Blogger newguy32 said...

Manually removing by Cutting out of a natural ridge disconnecting Lake Michigan From draining into the Mississippi River Basin was there by nature. removing it has Now caused the Great Lakes to slowly become drained. This Damage is now evident through the great lakes. And may become permanent if something is done to stop this.

 
At 2:29 AM, December 04, 2012, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thus polluting the area in and around the Mississippi. That's fine pollute someone else's backyard !
Talk about being selfish.

 

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