Meeting/Event Information

    Dr. Granato (Chicago Metro. Water Reclamation Dist.), Tours, Distinguished Service Award, 50-,60-year Awards

    June 16, 2016
    5:30 PM - 9:30 PM
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    Sawa's Old Warsaw Restaurant
    9200 W. Cermak Rd.
    Broadview, IL 60153

    Dr. Thomas Granato

    Director, Monitoring and Research Department
    Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago

    "Chicagoland’s Little Known Recycling Success Story – How Metropolitan Water Reclamation District  Biosolids Are Benefiting Farmers, Recreators and the Environment"

    PLUS: Tours,
    Distinguished Service Award, 50-,60-year Member Recognition


    The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago was created in 1889 by the Illinois Legislature.  It is a special purpose district that collects and treats wastewater generated by the City of Chicago and 128 suburban communities in Cook County and also has stormwater management authority for the county.  The District’s service area is 883 square miles.  It operates and maintains seven water reclamation plants with a total design average flow of nearly two billion gallons per day, 22 pump stations, 560 miles of intercepting sewers, 34 stormwater detention reservoirs, seven aeration stations in the Chicago and Calumet River Systems, and the Tunnel and Reservoir Plan (TARP) including 109 miles of deep tunnels and three combined sewer overflow reservoirs with a combined storage capacity of over 20 billion gallons.  The water reclamation process generates a large amount of solids, initially referred to as sewage sludge, which are transformed through appropriate treatment to biosolids that are suitable for  recycling through land application.  While the District water related accomplishments such as reversing the flow of the Chicago and Calumet Rivers, and building TARP are will known to Chicagoland residents; its biosolids program accomplishments are virtually unknown.
    The District currently processes its sewage sludge to produce approximately 150,000 dry tons of various biosolids products that are suitable for use as a soil amendment.  This quantity of biosolids could fill enough semitrailor trucks to stretch from downtown Chicago to Kankakee bumper to bumper in one lane of interstate highway.  The presentation will discuss the biosolids products that the District currently produces as well as their uses which today includes application to farmland in northeastern Illinois, controlled solids distribution in the Chicago metropolitan area for building or topdressing the turf at golf courses, athletic fields and parks (such as Maggie Daley Park in Chicago).  The presentation will also provide some historical context to the present program.  Some of the past programs that will be highlighted include the Fulton County Prairie Plan (you might be surprised to learn that the District owns a 15,000 acre land reclamation site in Fulton County where nearly 1.5 million dry tons of biosolids were ultimately land applied to reclaim strip mine soils and to cap acidic coal refuse piles); the NuEarth give away program in the Chicago Metropolitan Area; and the landfill cover program.  The presentation will also provide an overview of the extensive research program the District has undertaken and supported, which has included evaluation of environmental fate and phytotoxicity of trace elements, long term environmental fate and transfer to crops of PCBs, PBDEs, perfluorochemicals, gross alpha and beta radioactivity, nutrients and endocrine disrupting chemicals.  Studies of the nature of biosolids salinity and ecotoxicological assessments have also been conducted.  Finally, the presentation will look ahead to the future of biosolids land application which is being shaped with the development of a new composting process which currently is utilizing chipped wood from emerald ash borer infested trees that have been removed in the City of Chicago.


    • 1:00 - 3:30  (Skokie) - O'Brien MWRD Plant Tour (no cost, but separate registration)
    • 1:00 - 4:45  (Cicero) - Sitckney & LASMA MWRD Plant Tours (no cost, but separate registration)


    • 5:30 - 6:30  Registration & Social Hour with cash bar
    • 6:30 - 7:30  Dinner 
    • 7:30 - 7:35  Presentation of the Distinguished Service Award to Ken Fivizzani
    • 7:35 - 7:50  Presentation of the 50- and 60-year member awards
    • 7:45 - 8:30  Lecture by Dr. Granato
    • 8:30 - 9:30  Networking

     MENU - Family Style: 

      • Tossed green salad
      • Entrées, served family style (no need to make selection now)
        • Roast beef au jus
        • Broiled cod with lemon
        • Stuffed cabbage rolls
      • Sides: pieorgis, vegetables, potato pancakes
      • Chef selection dessert


    Dinner reservations are required and should be received by
    MEETING Registration Deadline: 12:00 Noon on Tuesday, June 14

    PLEASE HONOR YOUR RESERVATIONS.  The Section must pay for all dinner orders.  No-shows will be billed.   Please contact the Section Office via phone (847-391-9091) or email ([email protected]) if you have any questions


    From the Loop, Chicago

    From the North Side
    From Naperville/West
    From Indiana
    Take I-290 West
    Use Exit 19A, proceed south on 17th Ave for 1.6 miles.
    Sawa's is on the corner of 17th and Cermak.

    Take I-294 South, then exit to I-290 East.
    Use Exit 19A, proceed south on 17th Ave for 1.6 miles.
    Sawa's is on the corner of 17th and Cermak.

    Take I-88 East to I-290 East.
    Use Exit 19A, proceed south on 17th Ave for 1.6 miles.
    Sawa's is on the corner of 17th and Cermak.

    Take I-94 West to I-294 North.
    Exit Ogden Ave./U.S.34East.
    Go east on Ogden 0.6 miles, turn left (north) on Wolf. Go 1.9 mlles north on Wolf, then turn right (east) on Cermak.
    Go 2.5 miles east on Cermak.
    Sawa's is on the corner of 17th and Cermak.

    PARKING: Free


    Every year the Chicago Section recognizes a member who has contributed to an extraordinary level over the years. This year the Distinguished Service Award goes to Ken Fivizzani.


    Every year the Chicago Section recognizes its members who have been with the American Chemical Society for 50 and 60 years. To see how we have celebrated our members in a previous year, please see photos of the 2014 recognition ceremony here: Please join us in honoring their service.


    TOUR #1: O'Brien Plant, 1:00 - 3:30 PM

    O’Brien Water Reclamation Plant Tour (3500 Howard Street, Skokie); June 16, 2016 1pm. this large wastewater treatment plant focuses on a full scope of primary and secondary treatment processing and includes information on disinfection, the North Shore Channel, the North Branch of the Chicago River, and the Wilmette Lock; this tour lasts 2.5 hours. Please arrive at 3500 Howard Street, Skokie, 15 minutes before the start of the tour. 30 person limit. 30 day advance registration required for security check.

    Sorry! Tour registration closed on MAY 13

    TOUR #2: Stickney Plant + LASMA, 1:00 - 4:45

    Stickney Water Reclamation Plant Tour (6001 West Pershing Road, Cicero); June 16, 2016 1pm. One of the largest facilities of its kind in the world, offering the full scope of wastewater treatment processing and resource recovery; visitors also get to see the MWRD’s greenhouse and laboratories; this tour lasts 2.5 hours. Please arrive at 6001 West Pershing Road, Cicero 15 minutes before the start of the tour. 30 person limit.

    LASMA TOUR follows the Stickney Water Reclamation Plant Tour(6001 West Pershing Road, Cicero) June 16, 2016 3:30pm LASMA is where treated biosolids from our water reclamation plants undergo further processing. At 4:45, the bus returns the group to the Stickney plant so the group can proceed to its dinner meeting and talk by Dr. Granato. 30 day advance registration required for security check.

    Sorry! Tour registration closed MAY 13


    Dr. Granato, a native of Chicago, is the current director of the Monitoring and Research Department of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, where he has been employed since 1988. The M&R Department that he leads is currently comprised of 281 employees.

    The mission of the M&R Department is to protect the sewerage system, water reclamation plants, biosolids and receiving waterways from industrial waste discharges; provide analytical laboratory services to support the Maintenance and Operations Department to assure compliance with Illinois Environmental Protection Agency operating permits and the United States Environmental Protection Agency regulations; monitor the local waterways and groundwaters to assess impacts of District operations; provide technical assistance to other District departments and outside agencies; and conduct applied research to optimize liquid and solids treatment processes, support biosolids management, evaluate new wastewater treatment technologies, and assess effectiveness of green infrastructure.

    Dr. Granato holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Science and a Master of Science degree in Soil Chemistry from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Granato earned his Ph.D. in Environmental Soil Science at North Carolina State University. Dr. Granato currently serves on the Water Environment Research Foundation Research Council and the National Biosolids Partnership steering committee. He is a past managing editor of Water Environment Research and is a member of the Water Environment Federation, the American Chemical Society, the Soil Science Society of America and the American Society of Agronomy.


    $30.00 Member

    $32.00 Non-member

    $20.00 Student/Unemployed/Retired

    $10.00 Tote bag: CHICAgO elements - blue

    $0.00 Lecture only