Proposed Chicago River swim, not a marathon swim but I'd like to see it happen.
lakespray Senior Member
Every time I've been to Chicago and walked along the river, I've always thought what a cool venue it would be for a swim race. Yep I know the pollution is a problem, but I've swam the Harlem river, can't imagine it being much worse then that. https://sports.yahoo.com/fecal-bacteria-still-too-high-for-proposed-24-mile-chicago-river-swim-161522746.html
The natural Chicago River originally flowed from the swamps north of the city INTO Lake Michigan. Pre industrial revolution sewage was dumped into the river and transported away to the Lake Michigan. Eventually someone figured out that dumping sewage into the city's source for fresh drinking water was not a great idea. Solution; dredge a channel that connected the Chicago River with the Illinois River. This reversed the flow of the Chicago R. and sent the city's sewage to the Mississippi River and preserved the drinking water source of Lake Michigan. This is why the Chicago River is also called the Chicago Ship and Sanitary Canal.
Reference book, The Death and Life of the Great Lakes.