Water News April 22, 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.

Waller4Water is on the ballot

We collected 8683 in a pandemic winter!


"Drops of water turn a mill, singly none." - Pete Seeger, Step by Step.

Listen to Step by Step

Thank you to Bill Walsh for creating the above laser engraved plaque commemorating our time in the freezing cold collecting signatures. All 75 of us!

As expected, our petition was challenged (not fun). The objector challenged 4,600 signatures and sought to toss out whole sheets with irregular margins or page numbers out of sequence due to copier misfeed at the Board of Elections.

We passed the signature exam with +323 extra signatures and prepared to fight to the whole pages which could have brought the count down to +150 extra signatures. This means that every person's labor every hour at every parade was needed to get on the ballot. And we did it all with 100% volunteers.


Big thank yous all around!

  • Thanks to everyone who collected signatures. It was rugged.
  • Thanks to our fabulous notaries Mary Claire, Jessica, and David.
  • Thanks to all our lovely exam witnesses who drove to Cicero to say "object" to every signature (signed with frozen hands and mittens) that didn't match the voter card (some signed 20-30 years ago): Stephanie, David (and his boss who let him take several days off work with no notice), Mary Claire, Kathi, Candice, and LVPC family members Nancy, Sandy & Dave, Anita, Linda, and Anne B.
  • Thanks to those who helped with data entry for our Rule 8 filing to preserve mismatched signatures for further litigation: Stephanie, Frances, and Northside Democracy for member America members Mary Claire, Mary, and Melissa.
  • Thank you to Ella who helped with data entry for thanks notes to all petitioners - that's still on my to-do list.
  • Thanks to Katharine, our fabulous social media manager


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Thank you!! I'm working to make you proud of your choice!

My Issues in the News...

Flood Management

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Flooding in LaGrange

While at the LaGrange Metra Stations collecting signatures, I learned about a local flooding problem. I talked to a village official about Berwyn's development of their local stormwater plan and ordinance with funding from CMAP. Maybe this approach would help LaGrange.

Read about flooding in LaGrange

CMAP funded stormwater planning

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.


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

Cleaner Water

A new threat emerges for US lakes and rivers. Your lawn or toilet may be partly to blame.

50 years after the Clean Water Act clamped down on industrial pollution and amid climate change's impact across the U.S., runoff from roads, lawns, farms and septic tanks pose a new threat.

Read in USA Today

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Keep Drugs Out of our Rivers

When you flush medicine, it doesn't go away. It goes through our wastewater treatment and into our rivers.

MWRD Drug-Free Drain Program

Pharmaceuticals in our rivers
Chicago Emerging Contaminant Study

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


Water Reuse

I took a 2-day break in the signature collection to run down to San Antonio Texas and present at Water Reuse Symposium where MWRD Exec Director Brian P. also participated in a panel discussion.

Read more

Water policy is needed in IL - water quality trading credits and water reuse are a few examples

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. 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.

Earth Day 2022

Chicago’s new climate action plan addresses emissions and environmental justice
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Earth Day Cleanup at River Park sign waivers on-line

Pick up supplies 9-noon at River Park field house. Thank all the volunteers you see!

Sponsored by Friend of the Parks and River Park Advisory Council

Water affordability

Evanston water affordability
Chicago water affordability
Request a tap water test

COVID Update...

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COVID Dashboard

The current positivity rate is 5.1% as of Apr 22, up from 2.8% the prior week.



See Facebook for All Events

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. 


Brave Blue World (2020) is a documentary about potential solutions to our global water crisis. This movie is narrated by Liam Neeson, features Matt Damon and Jaden Smith, and is promoted by our global water industry. Come hear about innovative water technologies that will help us adapt to climate change and support a local business.

I'll provide an introduction and introduction including relevance and impacts to our region based on my 30-years of experience.


“How lucky are we that we’re the ones that get to solve a problem this big.”

—Matt Damon, Actor and Co-Founder Water.org

Registration is required on eventbrite


Do you know of a historic theater that could benefit from a free public showing? Email waller4water@gmail.com

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Mother's Day Learn to Brew for Conservation

Learn to be with me on Mother's Day because necessity is the mother of invention. Our campaign brewer is on sabbatical, and Urban Brew Labs has requested a demo brew of North Shore Channel water. So guess what? I'm learning how to brew and will bring carnations for all the ladies in my class, regardless of mothering status. Come join the fun! No kids allowed.

Register for Mother's Day Learn to Brew

  • May 8 - Learn to Brew at Brew & Grow
  • May 18 - Demo effluent treatment & brew at Urban Bew Labs

Thank you to our Sponsors...

$100 = Direct mail to 200 voters - seeking sponsors

$250 = Vote Watter4Water on the theater marquee - seeking sponsor

$500 = Davis Theater rental for Brave Blue World - thanks to Ann W. for sponsorship

$500 = Skokie Theater rental for Brave Blue World - thanks to Abigail N. for sponsorship

Donate on ActBlue
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