Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Meeting with Mexican Dignitaries

I met with Mexican Dignitaries from the State of Zacatecas on Friday, July 17, 2009 to discuss water environment issues and to sign a Memorandum of Understanding to share advancing technology.

As a Commissioner at the MWRDGC, I deal primarily with treating wastewater and protecting the quality of our water here in the greater Chicago area. I recognize, however, that the quality of water here affects the quality of water everywhere in North America and even the world. That's why it's important to work together on a local and global level to protect our resources. I was truly honored to meet with these Mexican Dignitaries to discuss global environemnt issues and to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with them.

From Left to Right: Diputado (similar to a United States State rep. or Senator) Rafael Candelas Salinas, Commissioner Frank Avila, Diputado Federal (similar to a Federal Congressperson) Carlos Alberto Puente Salas, and Presidente Municipal (Mayor) Alfredo Bueno.

Besides visiting and touring the MWRDGC, our guests also visited the other government agency that deals with water on the top side -- the Chicago Water Department. We were lucky enough to go on a tour of the Jardine Water Filtration Plant with them. Above is our tour guide, Diane Cardella, explaining the history of water filtration in Chicago. (Just to remind everyone, the MWRDGC is a separate government agency from the City of Chicago Water Department. The MWRDGC does not deal with what comes out of your faucets, but what you flush down your toilets and drains.)

Here we are at the Jardine Plant looking at the water that has been pulled in from the water cribs in Lake Michigan.

And here is the final product!

Watch my new PSA!

Have you ever wondered what happens after you flush the toilet? Where does all that "stuff" go? Watch my new PSA to find out. Smart, little Iris and I explain the wastewater treatment process and what you can do to help the process and protect the water environment. Click here to watch!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

What's in our Water?

As I've expressed before, pharmaceuticals in our waterways is an issue that should not be ignored and needs more research. Check out this article in the Tribune about drugs in our water.