River des Peres

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The River des Peres is an urban river in St. Louis. It and its tributaries (the largest of which are Deer Creek and Gravois Creek) drain a significant portion of both the city of St. Louis and St. Louis County.

The name means "River of the Fathers", a reference to a mission which Catholic priests established in 1700 and abandoned in 1703, roughly 60 years prior to the founding of St. Louis.

The River des Peres has functioned as a combined sanitary sewer and storm drain for over a hundred years. Most of it was straightened and either channelized or put entirely underground in huge sewer pipes in the 1920s and early 1930s. Prior to that, a portion of the river which ran through Forest Park had been put underground in temporary wooden channels as part of the preparation for the 1904 World's Fair, which was held in the park.

In 1988, the American Society of Civil Engineers added the River des Peres Sewage & Drainage Works to its list of Historic Civil Engineering Landmarks for the calculations involved, the large-scale trench dewatering methods and the soil stabilization procedures.

The area near where the River des Peres flows into the Mississippi River was the site of some of the worst flooding of the Great Flood of 1993.

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