When you’re reporting the conditions at Lake Michigan, you often mention the “crib.” What and where is that?
Barb Mandernack, Homewood
Chicago has four offshore cribs that supply drinking water from Lake Michigan. It is pumped through tunnels about 200 feet below the lake to purification plants, where it is treated and sent to the city and suburbs. The Harrison-Dever Crib, east of Navy Pier, pumps to the nearby James Jardine Water Purification Plant. Other cribs are the Dunne Crib near 68th Street, the Wilson Avenue Crib and the Four-Mile Crib east of Northerly Island. The Harrison-Dever Crib has weather instruments and a webcam for monitoring offshore conditions.
The cribs were staffed by four-man crews until the 1990s, when automation phased them out.