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Terrence J. O'Brien Water Reclamation Plant

Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago


3500 Howard St.
Enter via main gate; parking available


West Ridge


Sat, Oct 19: 10am - 4pm

Sun, Oct 20: Closed

Photography Permitted Refreshments Available Washrooms Available Wheelchair Accessible

First Opened




The Terrence J. O’Brien Water Reclamation Plant is one of seven wastewater treatment facilities owned and operated by the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago. The plant converts wastewater into resources like clean water, phosphorus, biosolids and natural gas. Originally called North Side, the O’Brien plant has served residents in communities north of downtown Chicago since 1928. It currently serves over 1.3 million people in an area of 143 square miles and cleans an average of 230 million gallons of wastewater per day (with a maximum capacity of twice that).

Visitor Experience

Take a guided walking tour showcasing several aspects of the water reclamation process, including new technologies for sterilizing water and recovering phosphorus for farm and industrial applications. Tours are mostly outside and require significant walking. The last tour will begin at 3pm.

Note: Closed toed shoes are required for entry.