How can I help prevent flooding?

As simple as it may sound, simply keeping smaller ditches and creeks free of debris (including landscape debris) can dramatically improve the run-off capacity, as well as greatly reduce blockages that significantly contribute to flooding.

The Public Works Department maintains Village rights-of-ways and ponds where the Village has ownership or easements. Every part of the Village includes drainage systems - ditches, storm sewers, creeks, ponds, etc., many of which are on private property. It takes a concerted effort from all of us - public entities, private property owners, and the general public - to protect these drainage systems. Some things you can do:

Know Your Yard - Homeowners should know and understand how stormwater drains within their yard and if their yard is intended to drain onto or through a neighbor’s yard or if adjacent yards are intended to drain towards their yard. Homeowners should also know what features of the Village’s Stormwater Management System are present on their property. Key features, such as storm sewers, overflow routes, and basins, are typically located within dedicated stormwater management easements. The property’s plat of survey is a good place to check if any of these easements have been dedicated on the property.

All yards are a part of the Village’s Stormwater Management System. In most locations, stormwater from one yard is intended to flow onto and through another yard, either down slopes or within swales and ditches, to reach other features within the system, such as storm sewers or basins.

While all yards are a part of the system, some yards have key features which play a critical role in the Stormwater Management System. The components of the Village’s system described below are often present on residential property, sometimes unbeknownst to the homeowner. These features are typically located within a dedicated easement.

  • Storm Sewers – Many residential properties have an inlet on the surface covered by a grate that empties into a storm sewer pipe below ground which transports the water away. Yard inlets are typically intended to collect the stormwater from not only the yard where it is located, but also from the adjacent properties.
  • Detention Basin – A detention basin is an area where stormwater may be quickly collected but slowly released to minimize the impact to the surrounding area. When located on residential property, detention basins are not typically located solely on one property but rather on a portion of each of several adjoining properties, usually in the rear yards. These basins are typically a depressed turf area.
  • Overflow Routes – During an unusually long or heavy storm event, the amount of stormwater runoff may exceed what the swales and ditches, storm sewers and detention basins can accept. A network of overflow routes including residential side and rear yards has beenestablished to allow the excess runoff to reach creeks, streams and the river without damaging structures.

Consider Stormwater When Making Improvements - When planning a home or yard improvement project, consider how the grading of your yard and the drainage of stormwater may be impacted not only for your yard, but for your neighbors’ yards as well. Obtain any required permits and be careful not to alter the grading or create obstructions within swales, overflow routes or detention basins.

Proper maintenance of the grading of your yard can minimize minor drainage problems and prevent more serious flooding conditions. Yard grading often changes over time due to both natural and man- made causes. The following situations can impact yard drainage by changing the grading or obstructing the intended stormwater drainage path:

  • Natural Changes
    • Ground Settlement – The ground surrounding your home, particularly the area close tothe house’s foundation, may settle overtime. This could cause the ground or any pavements to slope and direct stormwater towards your home. Settlement could also result in isolated low spots throughout your yard where water may collect.
    • Erosion – Heavy rainfall or sump pump and downspout discharge could cause soil erosion resulting in isolated low spots where water may collect.
  • Man-made Changes
    • Landscaping – The installation of landscaping, including planting beds, berms, and retaining walls, is the most common man-made change to yard grading and drainage. All of these activities could change the yard grading and potentially obstruct the intended path for drainage of stormwater from within the yard and from adjacent yards.
    • Home and Yard Improvements – Many common home and yard improvements could change yard grading and potentially create obstructions to the intended stormwater drainage path. Examples of common improvements that could impact yard grading and drainage include:
      • House Additions
      • Patios or Decks
      • Fences
      • Sand Boxes or Swing Sets
      • Sheds or Gazebos
      • Pools

Keep it Clear - Ponding of stormwater within a yard often occurs due to clogged storm sewer inlets. If there is an inlet in your yard, residents are asked to keep this drain clear of all obstructions including, leaves, grass and debris. Debris at storm sewer inlets also build-up after a storm event, which is a good time to check the inlet to make sure that the system, will work well in the next storm.

Never Dump Into a Storm Sewer Inlet -It is important to never dump any debris, including but not limited to landscape waste, garbage or chemicals into a storm sewer inlet. While bulky materials can cause flooding, chemicals and other wastes that are dumped into a storm sewer eventually drain into the river, which threatens fish and wildlife and pollutes the water. To find out how to properly dispose of waste products, please contact the local refuse company.

Be Patient After Rain Events - Following any rain event, stormwater may collect and form ponds in swales and low spots within yards. This can be a concern for many residents as it makes these areas of their yards unusable or they become concerned about the grass. Typically, water can pond over grassfor 72 hours before impacting the health of the grass. The Village offers financial assistance to single family home residents in the Village under the 50/50 Storm sewer Program to help alleviate yard drainage issues. Please contact Public Works Department at 630-350-3435.