The Water and Sewer section provides services to the residents of Lake Forest in the following areas:
- sanitary sewer system maintenance and repair
- storm sewer system maintenance and repair
- water distribution system maintenance and repair
- resident questions
Preventing basement flooding is a common inquiry the Water and Sewer section receives from residents. Below are suggestions that might help in preventing basement flooding in Lake Forest.
PREVENT BASEMENT FLOODING
If you have ever suffered basement flooding or had substantial accumulations of water in your yard, it is an experience you will not soon forget. Following an unusually heavy rainstorm, the City receives calls from residents asking why this has occurred. In many cases, the answer is simply that rainfalls of two to three inches in an hour were more than could be absorbed by the ground. In other cases, there may be a specific drainage problem that needs to be addressed.
The information below addresses what action you, the homeowner, can take to help protect your home from flooding damage and how the City is working to ensure the storm and sanitary sewers systems collect and transport water they way they were designed to operate.
Action you can take?
There are measures you can take that may help prevent flooding and water damage to your basement. While not a guarantee against future flooding, these ideas may help in the event of substantial rainstorms.
- Install a battery-powered sump pump as a back-up system to your other sump pump.
- Install an uncapped standpipe in the floor drain, if the location of floor drain permits one. It may give you the extra protection needed to prevent a basement back-up.
- If you have basement window wells with drains, make sure the drains work. Clear leaves and debris from the window wells. Also, consider window well covers for basement windows.
- If your downspouts "splash out" as opposed to going underground, extend them away from your house foundation.
- If you notice water standing over street catch basins, either inform the City's Water & Sewer Utilities Section at 847-810-3571 or try to remove the debris from the catch basin to allow it to take water.
- If you notice that your property is graded so that water accumulates next to the walls of your home, re-landscape to direct the water away from your home.
- Install a check valve to prevent sanitary sewer back-up.
- Do yearly inspection or rodding of sewer lines at your home.
- If you have yard flooding, it may be beneficial to have a yard drain installed.
Sanitary or stormsewer?
A sanitary sewer removes waste from the interior of your home. Sources for this may include sinks, showers, toilets or washing machines. These waste waters go into the City's sanitary sewer system and then to a sewage treatment plant on Clavey Road operated by the North Shore Sanitary District where it is treated and then discharged into the Chicago River.
In contrast, a storm sewer provides transportation for surface generated waters. Sources that feed a storm sewer are street drains and inlets, drainage from home gutters and downspouts, home foundation drain tiles, or home sump pumps. Water that flows through the storm sewer system does not go for treatment. Rather, it is transported via the storm sewer system to a natural body of water where it is discharged.
Sanitary and stormsewer systems are completely separate. There should be no connection between the two. They each have their own sources of inflow, network of pipes for transport, and method of discharge.
Below are links to more information on Stormsewer Management:
How can the City help?
One final note, when basement flooding occurs, always contact the City's Water & Sewer Utilities Section at 847-810-3571. After hours, please use the Police non-emergency number 847-234-2601. They will notify us to respond to your concern.
Damage to your property due to flooding is an issue which involves you, the homeowner, and the City working together towards a solution. Although there may not be an immediate fix for every problem, over time we will address all areas to see if a solution can be found.
To better respond to residential flooding, the City formed a Critical Response Team. The team will visit the site, assess that situation, and advise the homeowner on what steps should be taken to help prevent a reoccurrence of the problem. To set up an appointment to have your home assessed, call Water & Sewer at 847-810-4650 on weekdays between 6:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.
FIRE HYDRANT PAINT AVAILABLE TO RESIDENTS
The City currently utilizes contractors to paint the existing 1,320 fire hydrants within Lake Forest, which takes approximately eight years to complete. In addition to our current hydrant painting program, the Water & Sewer Utilities Section will provide hydrant paint to residents who are interested in painting the hydrants on their property or in parkway.
To order hydrant paint, please contact the Water & Sewer Utilities Section at 847-810-3571.