Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Village to buy sump pumps for residents

Catherine Ann Velasco of The Herald News reports the following story:

Village to buy sump pumps for residents

To help residents with flooding problems, the village board agreed to buy as many as 12 outside sump pumps costing up to $144,000 and a $70,331 storm sewer for one homeowner.

The board agreed Nov. 5 to purchase a new 48-inch storm sewer for the home at 12933 Tipperary Lane in the King's Crossing subdivision. Resident Kevin Kroll, who moved into his home in late 2004, said he noticed his sump pump was operating more frequently than expected.

The storm sewer, which is 6 feet from the home, complied with the village's old building codes. The developer has tested and tried to seal the storm sewer, but there is still some water loss, which can occur from a large diameter storm sewer pipe.

Because the developer and staff have been unable to reach an agreement, Allen Persons, director of public works, suggested that the village install a new storm sewer about 20 feet from Kroll's foundation. The old storm sewer will be filled with concrete once the new storm sewer is operational.

Sump pumps a remedy

Purchasing outside sump pumps for residents in Arbor subdivision was offered as a remedy to long-term water problems. The ground water table is high in that area, and the home foundations are low.

Some residents in the neighborhood, which is east of Illinois 59 and south of Feeney Drive, say they have had water issues.

Three residents have asked to have outside sump pumps installed, Persons said. There are about 12 homes that were constructed at the lower elevation and may be eligible for the sump pumps. The village would evaluate requests based on need.

The water pumped by the outside sump pumps will discharge into the storm sewers.
"The outside sump pumps really take over the work that the inside sump pumps are currently doing," Persons said. "The intent is to take the water or remove it before it even reaches the inside sump pump. It will reduce the noise that homeowners hear as their sump pumps kick on and off."

The intent is that the homeowner will maintain the pump after it is installed, which is similar to a program the city of Joliet offers.

"Joliet's program actually totals $2 million. They offer approximately 150 of these outside sump pumps for their residents every year," Persons said.

Workshop meeting

Since July, village staff have met with homeowners, conducted tests, inspected storm sewers and repaired field tiles. The village also hired hydrogeologist John Jansen to review the situation and suggest solutions.

Jansen said installing a line of dewatering wells along Arbor Drive or installing external sump pumps at the 12 homes with the worst problems could help.

At a workshop meeting in October, resident Jeffrey Valenti told officials he found documents showing lower foundation elevations for the homes were approved by an engineering firm despite the potential for water problems.

Last week, the board agreed to Persons' request to hold a workshop meeting to look at the process of how the decisions were made in building Arbor subdivision in order to prevent this error from occurring again.

Reporter Catherine Ann Velasco can be reached at (815) 729-6051 or


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