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Featured Story

Chicago River Still Teems with Bacteria Flushed From Sewers After Storms

Chicago Tribune

The thunderstorms that swept across the city on a sultry July evening last year weren't unusual for a typical Chicago summer. But rain still quickly saturated the city's aging sewers, draining off streets, parking lots and rooftops into an underground labyrinth that also carries sewage from households and factories. Within minutes, the noxious blend of liquid waste began flushing out of more than three dozen overflow pipes that empty into the Chicago River, the long-abused waterway Mayor Rahm Emanuel promotes as a showcase for urban revitalization.

In the low-lying Chatham neighborhood on the South Side, the nonprofit Center for Neighborhood Technology is working with city and district officials to keep water out of the sewers by directing downspouts away from homes, sealing foundation cracks and installing rain gardens and other landscaping improvements to absorb runoff.

"Remember that Chicago was built on a swamp and the natural landscape acted like a sponge," said Scott Bernstein the group's co-founder. "It's getting warmer and it's getting wetter and we keep paving over everything, so that sponge can't do its job. Instead all of that water ends up in your basement or your street or the river."

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CNT Awarded Chicago River Blue Award for Calumet Corridor Plan

We’re delighted to announce that on June 13, 2017, CNT received the Green Ribbon Award presented by the Friends of the Chicago River for the RainReady Calumet Corridor Plan. The Friends of the Chicago River host the annual Chicago River Blue Awards to recognize the leading contributions in development, design, and implementation of programs that best exemplify efforts towards building healthier and more sustainable communities through clean water programs. CNT RainReady director Dawn... Continue reading »


Featured Publication

Food Incubator Energy Systems

Jen McGraw, CNT Director of Sustainability Innovation
April 4, 2017

With the recent uptick in manufacturing around the United States, the importance of food manufacturing to local economies has come into focus for its roles in creating jobs and building on the local culinary and cultural assets of a community. With this focus has arrived an interest in supporting food manufacturing entrepreneurs as they start and grow their businesses. As a result, food manufacturing incubators and shared commercial kitchens are sprouting up in cities around the county.

To explore these issues, CNT convened a group of experts in December 2016 to workshop potential energy savings for the Hatchery, a food manufacturing incubator in Chicago. The goals of the workshop and this resulting white paper were 1) to help the Hatchery team make the operations as efficient as possible and 2) to share the workshop findings with the broader food manufacturing incubation industry to build understanding of the best energy saving options for such operations.

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