Sewer, stormwater systems study to target problems

By on December 5, 2008

by Martha Quetsch

            Elburn will undertake an extensive study of its sewer and stormwater drainage systems to determine how heavy rainfall contributed to the overwhelming of the sanitary sewer in mid-September.

            The study also will look at stormwater drainage in areas that had street and yard flooding to see whether the elevations conform to the subdivision design drawings, village engineer Bill Gain of Rempe Sharpe said in an outline of the project during the Committee of the Whole meeting Tuesday.

            Village Administrator David Morrison said the goal of the study is to learn where the problems lie. In addition to using a consultant for the study, Morrison said the village will rely on village staff to reduce the cost.

            Gain said among possible sources of infiltration of stormwater into the sewer system could be leaking joints in the sewer main, sump pump connections and foundation drain connections.

            Study findings will determine whether the village or property owners need to make improvements to prevent stormwater flooding and residential sewer backups in the future.

            Also on Tuesday, trustees directed village staff to seek bids for replacing three aging lift station pumps at the wastewater treatment plant. A fourth pump recently was reconstructed.

            Village officials said the lift station pumps did not fail, but were overwhelmed by the massive rainfall. Gain said Cambridge sewers were running over half full on Sept. 15 when they should be running less than 10 percent full.

            The study will include surveying potential overflow routes to locate a route that will allow drainage away from the Cambridge subdivision, where storms flooded some streets and yards with several feet of water.

            Village President Jim Willey said because Blackberry Creek has a separate lift station pump, the flooding did not stem from the subdivision.

            The village asks that all residents, whether they received flooding problems or not, to reply to a village survey. Call (630) 365-5060 or e-mail

            The survey is available at the Village Hall or HERE.