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updated: 6/10/2014 1:05 PM

State could change regulations to help limit flooding

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  • This Cary home was flooded with sewer backup last year.

       This Cary home was flooded with sewer backup last year.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

 
 

One of the best ways to curb flooding in the suburbs, an environmental advocate says, is to keep rainwater from going down the drain in the first place.

Natural Resources Defense Council senior water policy analyst Robert Moore told the Daily Herald Editorial Board Monday the state should develop new regulations that would allow suburbs to get cheap loans to do wastewater projects that prevent flooding.

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When heavy rains hit the suburbs, the immense amount of water from streets and parking lots can overwhelm sewer systems, leading to backups and flooding.

Moore said diverting the water into the ground instead of pipes keeps towns from having to constantly install bigger pipes to handle the load.

"It's a lot cheaper than the old brute force method," he said.

Gov. Pat Quinn is likely to sign legislation from state Sen. Dan Kotowski of Park Ridge and state Rep. Elaine Nekritz of Northbrook that would allow for low-cost loans to help pay for more green drainage systems.

But, Moore said, state environmental officials have to change some regulations to let the new law take full effect.

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