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Quigley Goes "Undercover" as Water Treatment Plant Operator

Jan 24, 2014
Press Release

CHICAGO – Today, U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (IL-05) worked as a treatment plant operator at the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) as part of his Undercover Congressman series. The series connects Rep. Quigley with constituents at their place of employment to better understand the challenges they face in their industry and daily lives.

“How many of us turn on our faucets each day and take our water for granted? Thankfully the folks at MWRD are working hard ‘behind-the-pipes’ treating our water to meet the highest standards possible,” said Rep. Quigley. “Thank you to everyone at MWRD for such an informative day, for their commitment to protecting our environment and for everything they do to ensure our water supply is clean and safe.”

"Congressman Quigley is a great champion of the environment and Illinois," said MWRD President Kathleen Meany. "He continues to support TARP and other environmental and life quality efforts in Cook County. We appreciate his interest in our day to day activities that protect the health and welfare of our region. The tasks we perform are not always glamorous but they are essential for the well being of our constituents. If the Congressman ever decides to change careers, we hope he will consider the District."


Rep. Quigley rakes down plastic waste from the digesters at the MWRD.


Rep. Quigley operates the train to the Lawndale Avenue Solids Management Area where he will dump treated solids out of the railroad cars.


Since taking office in 2009, Rep. Quigley has performed a wide range of jobs as an Undercover Congressman, including cleaning animal pens as a zookeeper at the Lincoln Park Zoo, pouring metal at a local metal refinery and picking up garbage and recycling with sanitation departments.

Rep. Quigley is a stalwart supporter of the environment and believes smart environment and infrastructure investments will strengthen the Chicago area and improve the economy. At the request of the MWRD, he used his position on the House Appropriations Committee to help secure $25.5 million for completion of the McCook and Thornton reservoirsin the FY14 Omnibus Funding Bill, in addition to the $35 millionhe fought for in the FY13 federal budget. The reservoirs are two key projects in the on-going effort to ease flooding in Cook County and will also spur infrastructure jobs in the process.

The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago protects the health and safety of the public in its service area, protects the quality of the water supply source (Lake Michigan), protects businesses and homes from flood damages, and manages water as a vital resource for its service area. The District’s service area is 883.5 square miles of Cook County, Illinois.

Hi-res photos available upon request.