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updated: 7/17/2013 4:16 PM

Mt. Prospect OKs funds for backyard drainage program

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The Mount Prospect village board agreed Tuesday to spend $85,000 this year for its Backyard Drainage Program aimed at reducing flooding in the rear yards of private homes.

Trustees approved a contract for the work with Concrete Etc., Inc., the lowest bidder for the project and the same company that worked on the village's 2011 Backyard Drainage Program. The program was not utilized last year.

The village has received requests from owners of more than 200 residential properties interested in taking advantage for the program. Village staff has identified several properties experiencing the worst flooding based on criteria such as depth of ponding, area of inundation, number of properties affected, structures impacted and duration of ponding.

The work will include installation of an inlet in the backyard draining through a pipe that connects to the public sewer system. To prevent overwhelming the public sewers, a restrictor is installed that controls and slows the discharge. Whatever ponding is caused by the restrictor is then handled with the construction of a rain garden around the inlets.

"The backyard will still retain water. However, the big benefit is that there is now a way for the water to get out," Public Works Director Sean Dorsey said.

Responsibility for maintaining the new system will be with the homeowners on their properties, while the village will take responsibility for whatever is in the public way.

This will be the third year for the program, Dorsey told the board. There was no money in the budget for 2010 and 2012. But this year, $100,000 has been allocated to the program.

"Our track record has been very good," Dorsey said. During the program's first year, 2009, installation was completed at 11 sites. In 2011, there were seven sites.

This year, the plan is to install at four sites.

Approval from the board was unanimous. But Trustee Steven Polit expressed concern that the backlog might grow because of homeowners who add elements to their properties that would make water more difficult to drain.

"When I drive around the village, sometimes I'll see 15 yards of black soil sitting on a driveway," he said. "I'm wondering where the 15 yards of soil is going. And I'm cringing to think that it's going to create a dam somewhere in the back yard, so that we're creating a future site for a backyard drain program."

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