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Stormwater Management


Contact Telephone
Public Works (630) 434-5460
Julie Lomax, Stormwater Administrator (630)-493-8821
Kerry Behr, Stormwater Administrator



What is Stormwater?

Stormwater originates from rain or melting snow or other activities involving outdooer water use, such as car wahing. Water that cannot soak into the ground due to impervious surfaces either flows directly into surface waterways or is channeled through storm sewers. All runoff eventually enters one of the three creeks in town, all of which flow west and connect to the East Branch of the DuPage River.

  • Lacey Creek, which is north of Ogden Avenue;
  • St. Joseph Creek. which flows through the central portion of the Village; and
  • Prentiss Creek, which is south of 63rd Street.

Video: Stormwater Management

Other types of managed water systems include:   

  • Tap water:  Treated water that comes from a faucet and used for drinking, bathing, cooking, and household purposes. Tap, or potable water, is managed through the Village's water utility. 
  • Wastewater: Non-potable water previously used for showering, washing clothes or flushing the toilet. Wastewater ia managed through the Downers Grove Sanitary District, a separate entity from the Village. 

Why does stormwater have to be managed?

Stormwater runoff in urban areas must be idreted through a system of pipes, ditches, catch basins and storm drains to minimize effects on priate property. Because much of the stormwater system was built before stormwater coedes exicstedand was not originally built to handle the density of houses that exist now, it is a necessity to make the most of the current stormwater system. 

Responsibilities of Village stormwater staff include: 

A Stormwater Utility Fee was established in 2012 to provide a dedicated fund for some of these stormwater management needs. 

A significant part of the Village's stormwater management also involves implementation of methods and procedures that minimize the amount of pollutants that enter the creeks. Because of this, the Village sometimes incorporates less traditional, more "green" construction methods as a means to improve water quality. 

The Village is required to comply with the federal Clean Water Act and the DuPage County stormwater regulations, and is permitted through the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES).

What is the Village doing to address stormwater?

Ongoing maintenance operations inlcude street sweeping, inspecting and cleaning of stormwater inlets, ditch repair and the repair and replacement of stormwater mains. In addition, the Village has commissioned several reports over the last ten years to help assess the condition of the existing stormwater system and to prioritize the work. These have provided the framework for many stormwater improvement projects. 

  • In 2006, a Stormwater Master Plan was completed which provided recommendations for how the stormwater system should be managed to ensure compliance with the federal and county regulations.
  • In 2007, a Watershed Infrastructure Improvement Plan (WIIP) was completed which provided recommendations on capital improvements that should be made to the stormwater system. To address some of the recommended capital needs, the Village issued $25 million in debt in 2008. The full value of the bond has now been used to fund a variety of stormwater improvement projects. 
  • The 2014 Stormwater Project Analysis included a new approach for prioritizing stormwater capital improvement projects that is consistent with the Village's fee-based stormwater utility. The goal of this new approach is to establish a minimum service level standard for stormwater management such that the stormwater system will safely convey and store 95% of all rainfall events.

Managing Stormwater Run-Off at Home

By adding stormwater control features to your property, you help reduce the amount of stormwater flowing into the Village's stormwater system and onto your neighbor's property. You also help the environment by improving the quality of the runoff that reaches our waterways. For additional information about our waterways and what you can do to help improve water quality in our Village, visit our Creeks and Wetlands page.

Post Construction Best Management Practices (PCBMP)

The purpose of the PCBMP Manual is to provide property owners and developers with help meeting the Village's requirements for on-site stormwater runoff management. The Village code requires that property owners add water quality and stormwater control features any time new construction or additions to an existing structure result in more than 700 square feet of net new impervious area. Property owners can meet the requirements by adding features such as rain gardens, dry wells or permeable pavers.

Rain Gardens

A variety of information on constructing rain gardens can be found below: 

Rain Barrels

A rain barrel is a water tank used to collect and store rainwater at the end of your downspout, which you can then use to water plants, wash your car and reduce your water bill. They are a simple, efficient, low-cost method for homeowners to collect and recycle water. The Conservation Foundation offers rain barrels for sale, as well as local retailers. 

Additional Resources

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