Flooding Prevention Tips


Since stormwater and flooding are complex subjects, the City recommends that you schedule a free Drainage Review and discuss your specific concerns with a City Engineer by calling 630-260-2870. However, the following are a few quick tips for staying high and dry:

  • All ground around a home should slope away from the house. If the ground slopes toward the home, water will flow against the home and increase the chance of flooding.
  • There should be approximately 6 inches of exposed foundation around the entire residence. This will prevent rot and help get water to flow past your home rather than into it over the top of the foundation.
  • All downspouts should extend at least 3 to 4 feet away from the foundation and discharge at a location that flows away from the home.
  • Never try to flood-protect a home with a pipe system. Pipe systems such as storm sewers, perforated drain tiles, and French drains are convenience systems only and typically cannot flood-protect a residence.
  • The only perforated pipe that should be installed next to a foundation is a foundation footing tile that is connected to a sump pump pit which is entirely buried many feet in the ground. All other perforated tiles (usually a 4-inch black perforated plastic pipe) such as buried sump pump discharges, buried downspout discharges or yard drains will simply introduce surface water into the ground faster and increase the load on the property’s foundation walls and/or sump pump. Piping next to a home should be solid wall pipe.
  • If you have a basement without a sump pump, it is highly likely that there will be water in the basement. The seepage level can range from very minor drips to multiple feet of water. The best way to improve upon this is typically to install a sump pump system.

Required Approvals and Permits

  • It is illegal to discharge any storm or groundwater into the sanitary sewer system. If you have downspouts, yard drains, or sump pumps that discharge into the ground or a pipe and you do not know where it leads, you should contact our stormwater engineer and schedule a drainage review. The City will determine if the stormwater is entering the sanitary system free of charge and let you know if you are contributing to sanitary backups in your area.
  • The City does allow residents to connect their sump pumps and yard drains to the City’s storm sewer system with proper permitting. Keep in mind that the storm sewer system is distinctly different from the sanitary system, in which no storm-related connections are allowed.
  • It is illegal to have your sump pump, downspout, or any other pipe discharge directly onto any other property. The discharging end of any pipe system is required to remain on private property unless is it directly connected to the City’s storm sewer system. All discharges should be 10 feet from any property line or, if located near a home, half the distance from the residence and the property line; whichever is less.
  • It is illegal to regrade your property without City approval. To gain approval, a plan must be submitted for review drawn to scale on a plat of survey of the property. Minor regrading may not require a permit. Contact the City's Engineering Department at 630-260-2065.