The Chicago River Water Cannon

In 1885, a cholera and typhoid epidemic killed thousands when sewage was washed into Lake Michigan, the source of drinking water for the city. By 1890 the Chicago Sanitary District succeeded in reversing the flow of the Chicago River to divert sewage away from Lake Michigan. The Chicago River System is more than 150 miles long and has one island.

There is a beautiful river walk on both sides of the river. About 200 yards west of the entrance to Lake Michigan sets the Water Cannon. Every hour on the hour it shoots a spectacular flow of water across the river for 10 minutes.


If you stand in exactly the right place, with exactly enough wind and the sun is at the correct angle – you may see a rainbow.

It is a thrilling sight for tourists and residents (at least this resident) alike.

I live within a half mile of this place and walk my dog there and ride my bike there almost every day.





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