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Streets are an important part of the Village’s overall Stormwater Management System. Both the storm sewers located below the street, or ditches located along the street and the roadway itself, serve to help direct stormwater into designed locations.
In cases of extreme rain or flash flooding, streets are expected to collect water, in efforts to keep this water from entering homes. This temporary storage of water should usually drain within 30 minutes – 1 hour. If it does not, the storm drain might be blocked by debris. If possible and safe, residents may clear debris to quickly solve the problem. You may also contact Public Works. If the storm drains are not blocked by debris and the street is flooded, the system simply needs some time to catch up. Motorists are advised to never drive through standing water, which may be deeper than originally perceived, and could damage vehicles, put passengers in harm’s way, or push water onto properties.
As an older community dating back to 1869, Lombard still has some sewers that carry sanitary waste, as well as rainfall runoff, known as “combined” sewers. As streets are reconstructed and as the budget allows, these sewers are replaced with separate storm and sanitary sewers. Roughly one third of Lombard has combined sewers that continue to drain into a downstream combined sewer.
When the capacity of a sanitary or combined sewer is exceeded, water levels may overflow to the ground level and result in a basement backup. A check valve or overhead sewer system (required in all new construction) may prevent backups.
To help assist homeowners, the Village provides an Overhead Sewer Grant Program, which has assisted nearly 400 residents in helping to protect themselves and their homes from sewer backups. Additionally, the Village’s Clear Water Disconnect Grant has contributed to dozens of homes removing sump pumps and downspouts from sanitary sewers, which helps to not overload the system, resulting in reduction of sewer backups.
If you experience a sewer backup, call Public Works at (630)620-5740. If it is after 4 p.m., or on a weekend, dial 9-1-1. Do not hesitate to dial 9-1-1 if there is a blocked/flooded roadway, water main break, or any time where you feel or witness something unsafe.
A project of this magnitude is beyond the Village’s ability to fund. To replace all of the sanitary sewers at once would cost the Village more than 100 million dollars. To put this into perspective, the Village’s General Fund budget for 2020, used to fund core operations from police, fire, public works (excluding water & sewer), community development, finance and responsible planning and administration is $37.32 million.
The water and sewer fund is collected separately through a $5 monthly capital fee by water customers, to help fund additional improvements, such as the gradual replacement of combined sewers.
It is important to remember that the Village of Lombard receives less than $0.08 of each property tax dollar to provide for its core services. (Public safety provided by Police and Fire Departments; forestry, road and water maintenance from Public Works; building and code enforcement from Community Development, and responsible long-term financial planning from the Finance Department.) Lombard’s percentage of property taxes is 7.36%, followed by the Helen Plum Library at 5.60%, the Lombard Park District at 5%, DuPage County at 3.79%, and York Township at 1.09%. The majority of property taxes (77.16% or $0.77 of every dollar) goes to the School Districts.
While flooding of any kind is potentially damaging and dangerous, backyard flooding after a rainstorm can be expected in lower lying areas. Your yard plays an important role in protecting your home from flooding. A properly graded yard can minimize minor drainage problems and prevent more serious flooding conditions. The grading plan for your property may also have been part of an overall stormwater plan for your subdivision.
In general, a properly graded yard will have some or all of the following characteristics:
While your local government staff can provide technical guidance, the Village follows the standards and practices of most municipalities and only maintains drainage in public easements or within public roads and rights-of-way. Maintenance of drainage systems on private property is the responsibility of the respective property owner.
Yes. To help residents that are impacted by chronic backyard flooding, the Village offers a Backyard Drainage Grant. The grant is available for property owners who have flooding that remains for 72 hours or longer which affects at least two contiguous properties. This grant has been used by more than 50 individuals or resident groups to help improve drainage for areas impacted by standing water.
Construction activity in Lombard is governed by various international, national, county and local codes. Lombard’s Village Codes are administered by the Community Development Department. Violations of Village Codes are handled by the Code Enforcement Division at (630)620-5757.
It is illegal to grade, excavate or fill in any property without a fill and grading permit to ensure that projects do not cause problems for you or your neighbors. Always check with the Community Development Department before you build on, alter, re-grade, or place fill on your property. Report construction or filling without a permit posted to Code Enforcement at (630)620-5757.
Yes. It is your responsibility, however, to make sure that any downspouts and their runoff are directed away from neighboring properties.
Property owners have an inherent right to develop on land they own, provided that they meet code provisions pertaining to zoning, building and stormwater regulations. All new construction requires a building permit. As part of the permit application, the Village will review the required engineering plan to ensure it meets code provisions.
Illinois Drainage Law precludes the damming or blockage of stormwater runoff from higher properties. However, once on your property, property owners can apply for a grading permit to help address any stormwater runoff concerns.
As record setting storms continue to increase in frequency, the Village continues to invest in stormwater management improvements including:
Much of the Village’s infrastructure, including underground pipes, are between 50-100 years old. To help address this challenge, the Village will require significant infrastructure improvements over the next 10 years. The Village’s Capital Improvement Plan, adopted as part of Lombard’s Annual Budget, includes more than $31 million for sewer improvements and $14.7 million for water system improvements, over the next 10 years. To help fund these necessary infrastructure improvements, water customers receive a $5 monthly fixed capital fee on their bills. This capital fee will be used to help make long term improvements to the Village’s systems.
On a shorter-term scale, the Village continues to seek out opportunities to expand or establish water detention locations throughout the Village. While we cannot control the amount of water that impacts the Village, we will continue to plan ahead and to do our part in helping to improve the Village of Lombard for its residents and business owners.
The Village does have a Storm Debris Management Policy in place. The policy is designed to facilitate and coordinate the removal, collection, and disposal of debris following a severe and large-scale weather disaster. While damaging storms with high winds or flooding are a general hazard for the area, the criteria to trigger a formal response requires a severe impact of weather conditions in a generalized location throughout significant portions of Lombard.
Predetermined thresholds must be met or surpassed before a response plan is triggered. Recent storms, although sadly damaging to some homes, did not reach the minimum threshold in which a localized response can be implemented.A Localized Response would require:
A large scale, Village-wide Response would require all of the above conditions, with a direct impact on more than 200 homes. In the rare occurrence that a Localized or Village-wide Response is enacted: