Private Property Drainage Issues

Illinois Drainage Law

The Illinois Drainage Law indicates that property owners must take whatever advantages or inconveniences of drainage nature places upon their land. What these advantages or inconveniences include, depends on the level of one’s property in relation to the land around it. Property owners must receive surface water flowing naturally from higher ground. One of the most important principles of Illinois drainage law is that the owners of lower ground, are bound to receive surface water that naturally flows onto it from higher ground.

Addressing Private Property Stormwater Drainage Issues

In most cases, private property owners are responsible for maintaining the portion of the drainage systems that is located on their property and solving localized drainage problems. The following solutions are recommended to alleviate private property draining issues:

Rain Garden/Bio-Retention

Bio-retention is a stormwater management practice that comprises shallow depressions that incorporates soil amendments and native vegetation to temporarily store and filter stormwater runoff, increase soil porosity, and facilitate drainage. Bio-retention areas are suitable for residential areas. Bio-retention is not suitable in locations with continuous flow or a high-water table, sites with slopes greater than 20 percent, locations less than 10 feet from a structure with a basement, locations less than 5 feet from a structure without a basement, areas with a tributary area that is too large and cannot be broken into smaller areas, and available space for which bio-retention is not adequate.

Vegetated Swale

Vegetated Swales are broad, shallow, trapezoidal or parabolic channels, densely planted with a variety of trees, shrubs, and/ or grasses. They are designed to capture and infiltrate stormwater runoff from adjacent impervious surfaces, allowing some pollutants to settle out in the process. Check dams may be used to improve filtration and infiltration opportunities.

Impervious Area Disconnection

Impervious area disconnection aims to slow down the rate of stormwater runoff, using previous areas to filter and infiltrate stormwater. This practice reduces the volume of stormwater draining into the municipal storm sewer by draining rooftops, driveways, sidewalks, patios, and other impervious areas to grass swales, bioretention areas infiltration trenches or other infiltration devices. The two primary types of impervious area disconnection are downspout disconnection and pavement disconnection. 

Infiltration Trench

An Infiltration Trench is a stone filled trench with a level bottom used to capture stormwater runoff and allow infiltration into the surrounding soils from the bottom and sides of the trench Infiltration trenches are excavated areas typically filled with stone to create an underground reservoir for stormwater runoff. The runoff volume is stored in the void space between the stones within the trench and gradually exfiltrates through the bottom and sides of the trench into the surrounding soils.

Learn more about Private Property Stormwater Drainage Solutions.