Aug. 25 flood project session precedes recommendations

West Wilmette residents who want to know how far the village has gotten in its efforts to study flooding in their neighborhoods can do so at 7 p.m. Aug. 25., when the Village Board’s municipal services committee meets at Village Hall.

The meeting comes only weeks before village officials hope to get some specific recommendations from consultants on how to begin managing and controlling storm water problems west of Ridge Avenue.

Engineering Director Brigitte Berger said Aug. 13 that a team from Christopher B. Burke Engineering has completed collecting and analyzing information about the physical condition of west Wilmette’s aging separate storm water system.

“They can show with hydraulic and hydrologic data flows which areas have had flooding,” Berger said.

“We want to introduce that information to the community, and we want to get their feedback. (The consultants) will be able to add that to their findings as they spend the next few weeks working on recommendations.”

Burke’s final report could be in front of village trustees in late October.

Wilmette hired the Rosemont-based company in January, at a cost of roughly $265,000, in one of the first storm water-oriented projects of its $24 million multi-phased flood control efforts for the west side of town.

Most of that $24 million is to improve West Wilmette’s separate sanitary sewer system, attempting to minimize the sewer backup and sewer system flooding that hits residents after storms.

In fact, the Aug. 25 meeting will also include an update on a major component of the sanitary sewer flood control efforts; the West Park sanitary storage project Wilmette hopes to start this fall.

However residents in neighborhoods west of Ridge Road – who instead have a history of overland flooding and water from their storm sewers surcharging after rains – took their frustration to the board after April, 2013, storms repeated the sodden pattern.

At that point, the village promised to start tackling that problem in the same way it began its sanitary sewer efforts; with a study.

Burke’s remit is to analyze the storm water system, identify its problem areas through research and physical testing, then determine strategies to minimize flooding.

Burke started collecting data in February on the specific location and measurements of existing storm sewers west of Ridge Road. That allowed them to do create a so-called hydraulic model – a map of how and where the water in storm sewers is flowing, where it is suffering bottlenecks and exactly how the system is failing to handle surcharges of flood water after heavy rains.

The village and Burke officials also held public meetings in wet Wilmette in March, both to inform residents of their progress and to get as much anecdotal and detailed information as possible from people who had suffered flooding.

Tags:

Soak Up Knowledge

What: storm water study update

Where: Wilmette municipal services committee

When: 7 p.m. Aug. 25

At: Village Hall

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