Water News Feb 23, 2022

Sharon Waller is running for MWRD Commissioner in Cook County, IL in the 2022 Primary.

If elected, I’ll be the only engineer on the board.

I'm running for cleaner water, flood management, & innovation before taxation. 

waller4water is a great ballot name.


Do you have a second for climate change?

Help put a water engineer on the ballot for the Water Reclamation District.

Download petition

Follow these easy steps:

  1. Download the petition
  2. Sign on line 1
  3. Notarize the petition via 3 options
  • at your bank or currency exchange
  • Sundays 4pm at The Atlantic, 5062 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago (check events schedule)
  • Request a notary house call, email waller4water@gmail.com
  1. Mail it to the address on the petition by March 1

Let's Start Bringing 'em In!

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Drop your notarized petitions in the mail by March 1 or come to the Atlantic to notarize by March 5. Lottery for the top of the ballot is March 7, but petitions can continue through March 13.

If you haven't collected signatures yet, there's still time. Don't miss this opportunity to engage in our democratic process. Most of our volunteers have never collected signatures before, so we're learning new skills. Jan 6 required our deeper engagement.

Shannon Rovers Bag Pipe Band signed at Chinatown Lunar New Year Parade, Feb 13

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Vovinam Lion Dancers signed at Uptown Lunar New Year Parade, Feb 5


The tiger signed at Chinatown Lunar New Year Parade, Feb 13


Abominable Snowman signed at Winter Brew in Lincoln Square, Feb 19-20

Real-time Signature Tracker

Sig Tracker

Our real-time signature tracker keeps us on track to meet our goal.

  • 5770 minimum to turn in
  • 4100 signatures completed

Fun facts: we have signatures to put the following equivalents on the ballot:

  • one governor (3,250 minimum)
  • 10 state reps or alderpeople (400 minimum)

Leader Board - every signature is gold

  1. Nancy 237
  2. 157 Peg 157
  3. 147 Kari 147

120-100: Jeanne, Bill

99-50: Anita, Janice, Cindy

49-20 Kim, Patrick, Anne, Richard, Marv, Cathryn, Mary Claire, Hal, Marina, John L., Mina, Randy

19 & under: Ellen, John M., Mary Kay, Sara


Big thank yous all around!

  • Thanks to our fabulous notaries Mary Claire and Jessica
  • Thanks to Katharine, our fabulous social media manager
  • Thanks to friends & family for your support and positive energy - keep sending it.

Upcoming Petition Events:

  • Feb 26 Ukrainian Village Music Frozen Dancing Block Party
  • March 5-6 LMK*
  • March 12 & 13 St. Patrick's Day Parades

*LMK = Let me know any events where we can collect signatures. Ideal events are outdoors due to prohibitions on politics such as 501c3 and corporate policies. This is sidewalk activism!

No Water No Coffee Tour

I'm collecting signatures following the Chicago Area Water System (CAWS) in Cook County from North to South to highlight how our water moves through our county and how critical water is to our life, starting with our morning cup of coffee. Follow on @waller4water on Facebook.

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#NoWaterNoCoffeeTour sites


Skokie Lagoons


Wilmette Locks


Chicago River and Locks

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Confluence of North Branch of the Chicago River and Northshore Channel at River Park

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South Branch of Chicago River at Ping Tom Park

My Issues in the News...

Flood Management


CSO Mapping & Alerts

Sign up for combined sewer overflow (CSO) alerts to plan your shower, toilet flushing, laundry & dish washer to minimize your contribution to combined sewer overflows to our river.

CSO alert signup

Rain Gardens collect rain water and allows it to soak into the ground. Rain gardens can be a cost-effective and beautiful way to reduce runoff from your property. Rain gardens can also help filter out pollutants in runoff and provide food and shelter for butterflies, song birds and other wildlife.

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What am I doing about it? In my childhood home, we measured basement backups by the number of stairs covered. The “deep tunnel” (our term for the Tunnel and Reservoir Project, or TARP) eliminated our basement backups. I eliminated basement backups in my current home with green infrastructure. If elected, I will advocate for increased funding for green alleys. I'll spotlight innovative residential green infrastructure solutions and create a library for homeowners.


Cleaner Water

2021 Biannual Report

H2Now real-time monitoring in the Chicago River is the first step towards progress. Shhh... the probes are hibernating for the winter.

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MWRD Drug Free Drains Program

What am I doing about it? I've devoted my 28-year career as an Environmental Engineer to clean water. I worked with Sierra Club to create a simple nutrient assessment plan template to assist smaller municipal wastewater agencies to comply with long-term phosphorus reduction goals. I'm exploring simple models of water quality trading credits to provide a funding mechanism for watershed-based improvements. Read my Oped published in the Evanston Roundtable on combined sewer overflow contamination to our drinking water supply in response to Dan Egan's OpEd in the NY Times

Innovation Before Taxation

The Waukesha Clean Water Plant in Wisconsin will be a potable reuse project because water is drawn from and returned to Lake Michigan which is the drinking water supply for 10 million people. 34 states have policy to guide water reuse implementation, but WI-IL-IN-MI do not.


What have I done about it? I have authored design guidelines for potable water reuse. This inspired me to advocate for water policy in IL following existing policy in 34 states. We need water policy to grow our Blue Economy and protect our water quality. I've contributed to local newspapers on the need for water policy for climate resilience. During the 2012 drought, 4,000 IL jobs were put at risk.

Total Water = One Water

Drinking Water

Request a tap water test
Chicago Emerging Contaminant Study

Lead Service Lines

Wastewater Reclamation

Pharmaceuticals in our rivers

MWRD History & Tour

Water Cycle

Stormwater Management

Wilmette Stormwater Project

What have I done about it? I have formed the Water PAC to endorse state reps and senators who support lead service line replacement legislation and long-term funding. Water PAC proudly supports IL 16th District Representative Denyse Wang Stoneback and Michael Rabbitt for IL 15th District Representative.

COVID Update...

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COVID Dashboard

The current positivity rate is 1.5% as of Feb 23, falling from 1.9% in the prior week.



The documentary Brave Blue World showcases innovative water technologies including Hydraloop and Majik Water. No clear permitting pathway exists to implement these technologies in IL. Water policy is needed. 

Events details & RSVP

Help collect petition signatures at the following events:

  • Feb 26 Ukrainian Village block party
  • March 12 Downtown St. Pat's parade
  • March 13 - Southside and Northwest side St. Pat's parade

In the works: The Davis Movie Theater in Lincoln Square is willing to host a special screening of Brave Blue World in late April. If I'm on the ballot, this event could be a postcard fundraiser.

Would you attend an indoor movie at the Davis in April?

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