New Employees

New Employees

As director of utilities forthe City of East Chicago,Ind., Pete Baranyai keeps an eye on all the happenings around the treatment plant, including animal activity. These baby raccoons were born on the East Chicago Sanitary District property, right at the doorway to the operations control center. “Maybe they were looking for employment?” says Baranyai.

The great egret and black-crowned night heron can teach the new raccoons a few tips of the treatment plant hunting trade. “Wastewater treatment plants are areas where these types of birds can come in and they’re not bothered much by people,” says Baranyai. The birds hung around the plant’s combined sewer overflow treatment basin waiting for minnows to wash out.

“In the middle of an industrial capital, it’s interesting that all these things are able to co-exist,” says Baranyai. With current plant inhabitants fending for themselves and future inhabitants already growing up, the East Chicago plant has a full circle of life taking place.


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