Almost uniquely among major U.S. cities, Chicago doesn't disinfect its sewage before dumping it into the Chicago River -- so plans to reverse the river's flow could send the city's filth gushing into the Great Lakes. Still, officials believe the river reversal is the only way to fight back the invasive Asian carp currently swimming upstream towards Lake Michigan. That's set the stage for a three-way battle among the city's water managers, environmentalists, and other Great Lakes communities who'd rather their water remained untainted by the Windy City's waste.

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