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updated: 3/13/2013 4:27 PM

New Levee 37 pumps prevent flooding in Mt. Prospect

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The major rainfall and snow melt of last weekend provided the first test for the pumps installed last year at Levee 37 along the Des Plaines River, Mount Prospect Public Works Director Sean Dorsey told the Mount Prospect Village Board's committee of the whole Tuesday.

Last weekend was the first time the system could get a workout since, he said, "To really test it, you need a lot of water. So we had the perfect test."

From Dorsey's account, on Sunday and Monday it was a successful test.

"If you can recall, what we used to do is we would go up there with our big pumps and sit out there all night and pump away. But the new levee system has a set of pumping stations that are built into the levee. And it was really our first chance to let them work on their own. And I can report that they worked really well," he told trustees.

Just to be safe, he said, the village had an employee monitoring the pumps, since "this is the first time that we have had a live test."

But "all the backwater valves closed and stayed closed. The pumps worked and dewatered our system efficiently. There were no instances of street flooding."

Village Manager Michael Janonis added, "Instead of having multiple pumps and mobilizing a big crew, (we had) one guy."

Mayor Irvana Wilks said, "We have figured out a way to fight the flood without the drama."

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