The occurrence of high-intensity rain events has increased in recent years. These events generate stormwater that exceeds the capacity of the Village’s sewer system, which can result in flooded basements, overland flooding, and flooding on private property. The Village is committed to undertaking flood mitigation efforts and works with regional partners to improve the conditions that contribute to flooding. To learn more about the Village's sewer system, visit the Sewer Services webpage. The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MRWD) of Greater Chicago has additional information on the operation of sewers in this region.
Flood mitigation efforts can be found on the follow pages:
- What is being done to address flooding?
The Village has submitted a permit application to the MWRD for the 50th Street project, located in the South Basin. Staff and consultant engineers continue work on refining engineering plans, which includes working with the MWRD on the permitting process, which can take up to 6 months.
While aspects of the 50th Street project remain the subject of litigation, the Village and MWRD have arrived at a tentative plan for entering into Intergovernmental Agreements related to the construction of the associated stormwater storage, trunk and lateral sewers which includes project financing. Important steps remain on the path to construction, however, the Village, the through its partnership with MWRD, continues to make progress in addressing flooding in this area.
A stormwater study regarding the Village's North Basin (area north of 47th Street) is underway and will serve to identify projects to address flooding in that region. The date for presentation has been scheduled for March. Lyons Township High School (North Campus) is located in this area and has engaged the Village in discussions to determine if a stormwater mitigation project can coincide with planned improvements at the school.
Overall, flood mitigation is a continued effort that encompasses a spectrum of short and long-term initiatives including major stormwater system construction projects, annual construction to repair and improve the sewer system, maintenance activities such as slip-lining, cleaning, televising, catch basin clearing, street sweeping, and the conduct of engineering studies that serve to identify where targeted investments will have the greatest impact on mitigating floods, as well as policies and regulations aimed at reducing flooding over time.
- What will have the greatest impact on flooding in La Grange?
The South Basin/50th Street conveyance system has been designed to provide the greatest amount of flooding relief to the residents south of 47th Street in La Grange. It stands to improve stormwater drainage in six depressional areas which span west to east across the Village. The project represents a significant infrastructure investment for areas located south of 47th street.
- What about areas north of 50th Street?
This area, referred to as the North Basin, is the subject of a comprehensive study being conducted by Christopher Burke Engineering. The study will serve to update modeling for drainage in this area, ultimately contributing to a prioritized list of projects that will serve to improve the occurrence of flooding in this area.
- When will the South Basin/50th Street relief sewer be constructed?
More recently, construction has been delayed due to litigation with Hanson Quarry in McCook. Recent rulings by the Chancery Court have allowed the Village to proceed with preparing documents for bidding the project. The Village will also work with its partner, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (a regional entity that provides stormwater management), to arrive at an agreement (referred to as an Intergovernmental Agreement) for the funding to support the project.
- When can I see what the engineering plans/study results?
Engineering plans for the South Basin/50th Street relief sewer are contingent upon several factors which are part of the iterative process of developing bid documents. The current timeline for having a biddable package that can be issued for construction companies to bid on the work is April 2024.
The North Basin Study is underway with modeling and data collection taking place through October. Preliminary results are anticipated by December, and a finalized study is anticipated in January 2024.
Engineering plans and studies include data collection, modeling, and iterative steps of design, modeling, and redesign prior to the development of initial and final proposals. Studies are performed by Civil Engineers with specialized training. The scope and complexity of conveyance design dictates the time required to prepare proposals. The conduct of this work involves the consideration and review of many design aspects, with the ultimate design reflecting the best solution for realizing the project’s objectives.
- What if my home floods?
There are several resources listed on the Village’s Storm Preparation and Response webpage including how to clean your home and ways in which you might mitigate flooding in the future. If you’ve experienced a sewer backup, you may want to consider the Village’s residential Sewer Backup Prevention Grant Program.
- How does new home construction impact our system?
New construction is managed closely, as the addition of new impervious surface can increase the water flowing into sewer systems. La Grange has very restrictive drainage and stormwater management requirements that go above and beyond what is required by the MWRD for all municipalities within their jurisdiction. Residential site development standards require grading improvements and below ground, on-site retention facilities (dissipation systems) for new single-family homes.
As a result of these requirements, new construction sites improve stormwater management as compared to properties developed without these requirements. Once constructed, these properties provide storage equivalent to one inch of rainfall over 45% of lot coverage and groundwater displaced by building foundations.
- I have pictures and video of flooding in or near my home. Can I provide those to engineers?
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