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updated: 8/2/2011 6:01 AM

Residents ask Arlington Hts. to stop flooding

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Seventeen Arlington Heights residents, most from the Westgate neighborhood, asked the village board Monday to do something to prevent water and sewage from flooding their homes.

About 35 people attended the meeting, apparently in support of those neighbors.

Marc Adelman, who organized the protest, said the survey he has started of the neighborhood showed 50 homes were flooded July 23 in an area bounded by Wilke Road, Yale Avenue, Campbell Street and Euclid Avenue.

Adelman said this is the first time his basement has flooded in the 19 years he has been in the home, and he estimates his loss at $200,000, including computers and stock from his home-based business selling vintage posters.

Others, including 24-year homeowner Diane Layden, said their homes had flooded three or four times during their residency.

Adelman said it was against code for sanitary waste and stormwater to run in the same sewers, and the village should change that.

Scott Shirley, director of public works, said two-thirds of the village -- most of the area south of Palatine Road and north of Central Road -- has sanitary and stormwater sewers combined. The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago grandfathered in older construction, including the city of Chicago. The Deep Tunnel Project was considered the way to deal with the water because separating the systems was not cost-effective, he said.

One thing Arlington Heights has done is install restrictions in some storm sewers to keep water in the streets during heavy rains for release later into the sewer.

Systems are designed for up to 3 inches of rain in 24 hours, Shirley said, and cannot deal with record rains like the July 23 deluge that dumped between 5.5 inches and 7.1 inches in five hours.