Calumet: First and Forever

Chapter 3: Draining the South Area

Present-Day Pumping Station

CFF-Photo 3.4.1
CFF-Photo 3.4.1

Photo 3.4.1. May 2019. After almost a century of service, the 125th Street Pumping Station looks the same. Looking northeast from the intersection of 125th Place and Edbrooke Avenue, the station is fenced; no vehicles are normally in the parking lot. The operation is fully automated and controlled from the Calumet Plant. (Photo by author)

CFF-Photo 3.4.2
CFF-Photo 3.4.2

Photo 3.4.2. June 2019. Trucks and vehicles roar overhead on the Chicago Skyway, Interstate Route 90, on the west approach to the crossing high above the Calumet River. The Ninety-Fifth Street Pumping Station, fully automated, continues to serve. An addition on the Baltimore Avenue front encloses the screen chamber, screen raking mechanism and debris dumpster. (Photo by author)

CFF-Photo 3.4.3
CFF-Photo 3.4.3

Photo 3.4.3. February 2017. Little noticed and nearly forgotten, Chicago’s Hegewisch Pumping Station sits in the woods south of 134th Street, one-third mile east of Torrence Avenue. Intercepting sewers and the Deep Tunnel presently provide service to the Hegewisch neighborhood once provided by this and predecessor pumping stations. It can still serve as a high-level relief if the Calumet Deep Tunnel is full. (Photo by author)

CFF-Photo 3.4.4
CFF-Photo 3.4.4

Photo 3.4.4. May 2019. “Out of sight and out of mind” applies to this underground pumping station hidden in the forest preserve behind a cemetery. The Thornton Pumping Station, named for the community it serves, has no address and only those who need to go there know how to get there. Fully automated, alarms will alert operators at the Calumet Plant if something is amiss. (Photo by author)

CFF-Photo 3.4.5
CFF-Photo 3.4.5

Photo 3.4.5. May 2019. The Alsip Pumping Station is not out of sight and is plainly visible on the north side of the street in the 4900 block of West 115th Street. Another underground facility, it is fully automated and outfitted with alarms that will alert operators at the Calumet Plant should a problem occur. (Photo by author)

CFF-Photo 3.4.6
CFF-Photo 3.4.6

Photo 3.4.6. May 2019. The Palos Hills Pumping Station, located on the south bank of Stony Creek West Branch on Seventy-Sixth Avenue, is actually in Worth. However, it serves Hickory Hills and Palos Hills. A pollution barrier along the creek filters excessive wet weather overflow before reaching the creek and, after an overflow event, the area is cleaned-up to remove any remaining debris. (Photo by author)

CFF-Photo 3.4.7
CFF-Photo 3.4.7

Photo 3.4.7. May 2019. Along the Calumet Union Drainage Ditch east of Dixie Highway is the East Markham Pumping Station in Harvey, the only small station with immediate access to the Calumet Deep Tunnel to handle combined sewer overflow. The drop shaft to the tunnel is southeast of the station at the corner of 161st Street and Damen Avenue. (Photo by author)

CFF-Photo 3.4.8
CFF-Photo 3.4.8

Photo 3.4.8. May 2019. There is no overflow to Mill Creek from the Palos Park Pumping Station, located south of 119th Street near Lakewood Avenue. The area served is entirely residential on larger wooded lots. Although visible from the avenue, the underground station is quiet and appears to be a good neighbor. (Photo by author)

CFF-Photo 3.4.9
CFF-Photo 3.4.9

Photo 3.4.9. October 2017. This Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) pumping station is not named, but is plainly visible east of the Bishop Ford Expressway at 11001 South Doty Avenue. Without it, parts of Interstate Route 94 would go under in big storms. Highway drainage is not contaminated with sewage so the discharge goes into Lake Calumet. (Photo by author)

CFF-Photo 3.4.10
CFF-Photo 3.4.10

Photo 3.4.10. October 2019. Another unnamed IDOT pumping station sits on the northwest corner of Paulina and Vermont streets in Calumet Park, draining about three miles of Interstate Route 57 to its north. These IDOT pumping stations are automated and remotely monitored at the IDOT District traffic control office in Schaumburg. (Photo by author)