Stormwater Master Plan Pilot Studies

The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) is conducting a set of five stormwater management studies that will investigate urban flooding issues and evaluate potential green infrastructure solutions. The project will assist MWRD and five partnering communities and residents by developing a community-based and supported plan to address local flooding. The communities participating include Chicago (Far South Side); Harwood Heights; Northbrook; the Little Calumet/Cal-Sag Channel drainage area, comprised of Blue Island, Calumet Park, Riverdale, Robbins and Alsip; and the Roberts Road corridor, which includes Justice, Palos Hills, Hickory Hills, Bridgeview and Bedford Park.

To combat 100-year flooding of structures and basement backups that come as a result of extreme rainfall, the project team is examining the use of green infrastructure. Currently, stormwater is primarily conveyed through pipes, referred to as "gray infrastructure" because of the concrete that is typically used to construct the pipes. Green infrastructure, on the other hand, mimics the natural environment by handling precipitation where it falls by detaining and infiltrating runoff through rain gardens, permeable pavement, cisterns and other practices.

The project team is reaching out to residents in these communities about how flooding impacts their lives and studying what potential solutions they find acceptable. The MWRD has developed customized questionnaires and is distributing them to private property owners within the study areas, requesting input on flooding issues. These questions are based on initial discussions that MWRD and engineering consultants have had with these communities. The results of these surveys will help engineers understand the preferences of community residents and possibilities for solutions. Through this public input, residents have the opportunity to make a difference in how their communities address flood problems.

Stormwater Pilot Studies

arrow City of Chicago (South Side-Wards 7, 8, 9, 10 and 21 and small portions of 6, 19 and 34)

arrow Harwood Heights

arrow Little Calumet River/Calumet-Sag Channel-Blue Island, Calumet Park, Riverdale, Robbins and Alsip

arrow Northbrook

arrow Roberts Road Corridor-Justice, Palos Hills, Hickory Hills and Bridgeview