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What is the Village doing to address stormwater?

A map of all the watershed areas within the Village boundaries.

A number of the Village's responsibilities when it comes to stormwater management include:

  • Protecting our environment;
  • Reducing flooding to protect people and property;
  • Reducing demand on public stormwater drainage systems;
  • Supporting healthy streams and rivers; and
  • Creating healthier & more sustainable communities.
Downers Grove is primarily an urban area. Our stormwater is directed through a system of pipes, ditches, and detention ponds before it enters one of the three primary creeks in town - Lacey Creek, St. Joseph Creek and Prentiss Creek. The Village is also responsible for setting standards to manage the stormwater effects of new construction and new/existing structures within Floodplains and LPDAs

Yearly Maintenance

Yearly maintenance operations include street sweeping, televising of storm sewers for the purpose of inspecting/cleaning, ditch repair and regrading, and repair and replacement of stormwater sewers located within the road right of way or Village properties. There are many additional pipes located on private properties or common areas owned by subdivision homeowner associations. These are the responsibility of the property owner to maintain - even in the case the Village has an easement on the property. The Village can help you determine if the pipe is public or private. If you need assistance with these maps, or need help determining if it is a Village-owned or private-owned pipe, please call 630-434-5460.

The best way to report an area in need of maintenance is through our Community Response Center (CRC) where you can submit requests for service at any time.

Capital Improvement Projects and Schedules

Approximately every five years, the Village provides a summary of all major capital projects planned for the consecutive five years as part of its Community Investment Program (CIP). Stormwater management is a major aspect of this planning and numerous projects are outlined that the Village expects to construct. For the current construction projects, please visit our Construction Updates page where you can find the latest information on a project and the appropriate contact if you have any questions. There is also an interactive CIP map which you can explore for a visual representation of the diversity and location of the projects that year. 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.

Stormwater Utility

Stormwater Utility Fee was established in 2012 to provide a dedicated funding for some of these stormwater management improvement projects and yearly maintenance activities. The fee is based on the amount of impervious area for each parcel and scales up in tiers as more impervious area is added to a parcel. Several credits and incentives are available to property owners as a way to reduce this fee and more information about them can be found on the Stormwater Utility page.

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).

Stormwater Studies

In addition, the Village has commissioned several reports over the 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.