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AMERICAN EXPERIENCE

Reversing the River

  • Aired: 01/13/2003
  • 01:40
  • Rating: NR
By the mid-19th century, Chicago was a growing city encountering problems with its water supply and sewage disposal. Ellis Chesbrough was selected to solve Chicago’s public health crisis. Chesbrough’s solution: change the direction of the Chicago River. In 1871, the extraordinary feat of engineering was accomplished—the river now flowed west from Lake Michigan and down to the Illinois River.
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Reversing the River
Reversing the River
To solve city's water supply & sewage disposal problems, the Chicago River was reversed.
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