Ever since the flooding rains of a two-day span in July, 2010, Lombard has been planning and spending on improvements to its sewer system and water retention ponds.
Almost two years later, Public Works Director Carl Goldsmith said progress has been made on two projects high on the priority list after that storm: improving equipment at 10 pumping stations that keep water flowing through sewers during rains and increasing the capacity of Terrace View Pond on the village's northwest side.
Upgrades to some of the pumping stations are becoming fully functional and an agreement with the Lombard Park District to allow changes to Terrace View pond is likely to receive final park board approval later this month.
Here's an update on where Lombard stands on stormwater projects.
Lift station upgrades
Lombard so far has awarded about $626,350 in contracts for work on 10 pumping stations.
Two of the stations -- one on Elizabeth Street between Grove Street and Windsor Avenue and another on Westmore-Meyers Road north of Wilson Avenue -- began operating with new backup generators last week, Goldsmith said.
Improvements to four others are expected to be complete by the end of June. These stations are functioning now, but upgrades, which include new cabinets that hold pumping equipment and sometimes are built higher off the ground, have not been installed.
New equipment has been ordered for two stations near Finley Road and Charles Lane Pond, and Goldsmith said the village is expecting that equipment to be delivered and installed by the end of July.
Design work still must be completed before installation of equipment can begin at the final two stations identified for improvements, which are on south Fairview Avenue and at Prairie and LaLonde avenues.
Terrace View Pond
An agreement between the park district and the village will allow Terrace View Pond modifications to begin as soon as permits are in order and contractors are chosen, which Goldsmith said is likely to be next spring or summer.
The village aims to build two sewer pipes between the street north of the pond, Crystal Avenue, and the pond itself. Plans also call for the pond's water level to be lowered one foot through the installation of pumps. The adjustments were chosen after an environmental and engineering study completed last October.
Aside from permits from DuPage County, which are under review, the village also needs space to build the relief sewers. Staff plans to bring a contract before the village board in the next couple months to buy a house north of the pond on Crystal Avenue, Goldsmith said.
Despite the work on pumping stations at several locations, areas where residents have constant flooding concerns remain in Lombard, resident Laura Mika said.
Mika's home at 567 S. Lewis Ave. has taken on about four feet of water three times since 2006, she said. The village paid half the $7,600 cost of modifying the driveway apron, sidewalk and drainage pattern on her property and her neighbor's last summer, but Mika said she wants more done to ensure her home won't flood.
Her tri-level house is the lowest on the block, she said, with a driveway that slopes down into a lower-level garage. The house sits north of Madison Meadow Park, from where Mika said water overflows during heavy rains.
Aside from contributing to drainage improvements, the village can't spend unlimited money on solutions to flooding problems experienced by only one or two households, Goldsmith said.
"We look at regional solutions to problems that affect neighborhoods," he said.
Mika said she thinks building a berm on the north end of Madison Meadow Park would stop water from overflowing, but Goldsmith said he can't force the park district to make modifications to its land. Mika also said she wants a complete sewer system overhaul, but she knows it would be costly.
"I'm afraid to do any work on my house," she said, "because it's not guaranteed (the flooding) ever will be fixed."