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Managing Stormwater at Home

Do you need assistance with drainage issues at your home? Village Staff may be able to help. If you would like to request a site visit from Village staff, please email stormwater@downers.us or call at 630-434-5460. Click here for an issue that is urgent.

Multiple backyards that have ponding water after a recent rain.Cost-Share Program

The Village offers financial assistance to residents seeking to make stormwater improvements on their private property. To qualify, the proposed improvement must mitigate existing flooding conditions such as structural flooding of a house/garage due to overland flow or non-structural flooding on multiple properties. Non-structural flooding conditions must be present on more than one property to be eligible for participation. Once the qualifying criteria are met, reimbursement of up to $1,500 is available for each participating property. The maximum reimbursement per project is $10,000.

For more information, or to apply for the Stormwater Cost Share Program, call Public Works at 630-434-5460 or email stormwater@downers.us.

Bioswale Program

A neighboring bioswale in the backyard.If the roadside ditch by your property is wet or difficult to mow, or you just want to beautify and green our infrastructure,you may be interested in the bioswale program. 

Bioswales use native plants with deep root systems to filter pollutants and soak up more runoff. In fact, bioswales can reduce runoff up to 30%. In addition, bioswales do not require regular mowing, which reduces air pollution, while attracting wildlife, such as birds, butterflies, bees and dragonflies.

With the Bioswale Program, the Village will work with you to select plants appropriate for the location and to meet your preferences. More information is in the Bioswale Program brochure below. If you are interested, call Public Works at 630-434-5460 or email stormwater@downers.us.

Green Infrastructure and Post Construction Best Management Practices (PCBMP)

The addition of green infrastructure to your property can help reduce the amount of runoff flowing into the Village's storm sewers and onto neighboring properties. When built as part of Code requirements, they are known as Post Construction Best Management Practices (PCBMPs). These are required anytime new construction, or additions, result in more than 700 square feet of net new impervious surface, however, they can also be built to mitigate drainage issues or to improve water quality.

Types of green infrastructure, or PCBMPs, include bioswales, rain gardens, drywells, permeable pavers, and rain barrels, among others. You can find more information about these features by reading below or in the Village's PCBMP Manual. Remember that any water, or debris, that enters a storm drain, enters our local bodies of water!

A construction worker digging a ditch to put gravel and PVC pipe to create a drywell.Drywells

A drywell is an underground construction to which stormwater runoff is piped to and slowly infiltrates water into the surrounding soil. The main goal of the drywell is to provide storage, as well as some water quality improvements. Drywell construction is typically either a prefabricated storage tank, a filtration fabric lined stone pit, or a storage volume from a system of perforated pipes.

For more information and to learn how to calculate the size of a drywell, see the "Drywells and Infiltration Trenches" section in our PCBMP Manual on page 4. Residents that construct drywells that are not required as PCBMPs may be eligible for an incentive and can find more information in our Stormwater Utility Credit & Incentive Manual.

A brown house with green shrubs and colorful flowers. To the right a terra cotta colored rain barrel is connected to the house with a brown gutter. Rain Barrels

A rain barrel is a water tank used to collect and store rainwater from the end of your downspouts which you can then use to water plants, wash your car and reduce your water bill. They are a simple, efficient, and low-cost method for homeowners to collect and recycle water.

The Conservation Foundation offers rain barrels for sale, as well as other local retailers. Residents that opt to install a rain barrel are eligible for an incentive and can find more information in our Stormwater Utility Credit & Incentive Manual.

Rain Gardens

A photo of yellow, purple, and white flowers in a rain garden on the right of way.

Rain gardens are depressions in the ground that temporarily store rainwater and, along with plantings in the garden, remove pollutants from the runoff. They are a great way to naturalize areas of your yard, restore some native plants back into the ecosystem, and help reduce/improve stormwater runoff. Residents that opt to install a rain garden are eligible for an incentive and can find more information in our Stormwater Utility Credit & Incentive Manual. A variety of information on constructing rain gardens can be found below:

Additional Resources