Illinois Drainage Problems
There are many causes for Northern Illinois drainage problems, like clay soil, poor planning, improper grading, and overdevelopment. Unfortunately, once the water is on your property it is your problem. You are not allowed to block the flow of water onto your property by building a berm.
The only legal and most cost-effective answer is to assist the water to flow into an approved location by the use of drain tile. Most cities will allow surface Water to be directed to one of 3 places. They are culverts, storm sewers, or a different location on your property, but not emitting over the curb or sidewalks.
Sometimes drain tile alone will not solve a drainage problem because the grade of the property may not cooperate. If there is no way to run the drain tile downhill, so that gravity will move the water where we want it to go, We can install an outdoor sump pump pit to collect water and pump the water to the location of our desire.
These pumps need to be removed in the winter and reinstalled in the spring unless the pump and ejection line is below the ground freeze. Another answer in this situation is to re-grade your property. This is much more invasive and costs more. But when it is possible can eliminate the need for drain tile.
The 1st answer that I always recommend instead of running water off your property is to build a water garden. They definitely cost more, but they are ecologically friendly and look great. When you run water off through drain tile into storm sewers or culverts that drain into the streams and rivers, the water carries with it all the chemicals that are in your yard like fertilizers and pesticides. According to the EPA, this is the biggest cause of pollution in our oceans.
Water gardens are usually placed at the lowest spot on your property. They are basically a small basin in the soil about 8 inches deep filled with plants that like to be over watered and even have their root system under water.
After we have decided the location for your water garden and have chosen the plants to be in your water garden, we run all drain tiles from the gutter downspouts and any problem water spots so that they emit into this location.
Another asset of these plants is that they have deep root systems that assist in helping the excess water to drain through the soil back to the underground water table increasing the amount of drinkable fresh water supply.
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