What actions can home-owners take to deal with stormwater?

To complement the Village’s actions, resident are urged to take four cost-effective actions:

  1. Gutters and downspouts
    • Inspect yearly, check that they are in good condition/not obstructed, and ensure that they are extended away from the house (e.g., 2-5 feet away, to lessen ground water saturation near the foundation of the house)
    • Disconnect any gutter downspouts that are currently connected to the Village sewer system – Note that disconnections are now mandatory per ordinance, with the requirement in place to mitigate flooding
  2. In and around the basement,
    • Use window well covers to mitigate seepage
    • Seal cracks in the basement foundation
    • Inspect the condition of your sump pump and consider a back-up or emergency sump pump
    • Check grading of the house – Ensure that the ground immediately adjacent to the house (e.g., first several feet) is graded so that it flows away from the house to either the front yard or back yard
  3. Inspect the roof, particularly if you believe shingles were damaged during the winter (e.g., due to “ice dams” compromising the roof integrity)
  4. Obtain an inexpensive water barrel (or 2) from the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District. MWRD offers deep discounts at mwrd.org. As mentioned, the Village is working to expand this program for Village residents and offer even greater discounts.

Lastly, homeowners may wish to consider investing in a backwater valve flood control system. The latter option, while relatively costly, is effective. Backwater valve flood control systems stop sewage backup before it can enter the house with a “check valve” on the sewer line (e.g., an underground structure in the yard where the check valve is located).