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Elmhurst City Council approves first phase of $7.41M wet-weather facility

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013 6:43 a.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, July 29, 2014 9:58 p.m. CDT

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The council approved an agreement between the city and RJN Group to replace the Saylor Avenue and Jackson Street force main.

The force main is 10 inches in diameter and carries sewer water from the lift station at Saylor Avenue and Jackson Street about 2,850 feet to its discharge point at Saylor and McKinley avenues.

The force main has a history of breaking and replacing it first would make the force main available for connection as the new pump station is completed.

Other portions of the project include expanding the existing gravity sewer that flows into the lift station to reduce the likelihood of backups in the area. The addition of a larger wet-weather force main that only operates during storm events would pump sewer water to the existing treatment plant and a new concrete storage tank on the south end of the treatment plant property that would hold 2.2 million gallons of sewer water during a storm is also part of RJN's plan.

The entire project, RJN estimated, could be finished by November 2014.

Rear yard drain suspended

In addition to the force main replacement, the City Council also referred a request asking all new applications to the city's rear yard drain cost-sharing program be suspended to the Public Works and Building Committee.

In August, the City Council approved a Public Works and Building Committee report recommending Elmhurst continue the current program with a 13 to 1 vote.

The program allows Down Under Construction of St. Charles to install drains at the request of residents in their backyards to alleviate water problems. Under the program, residents may also connect sump pump discharge pipes and roof drains to the city storm sewer. The city shares 50 percent of the project cost with homeowners up to $1,000. The city voted to extend the program for a single year.

The request submitted by aldermen Michael Bram, Marti Deuter, Dannee Polomsky and Kevin York asks for the suspension of rear yard drain applications since the Public Works and Building Committee is currently reviewing proposed policy that would require on-site storm water storage for new construction.

Bram, a Third Ward alderman, explained it only made sense to suspend the applications until the committee completes its entire storm water management review in order for the city to take a consistent approach to storm water.

Residents' concerns

A handful of residents voiced concerns about the city's response to storm water incidents just this last weekend, and City Manager Jim Grabowski assured them that all equipment worked as it was supposed to during the rainfall that caused Salt Creek to rise 3 to 3.5 feet in some places.

"I know a lot of people acknowledged the street flooding and a lot of that was due to the leaves in the street blocking the grates," said Grabowski, explaining the city has had crews out sweeping the streets since Saturday.

Some residents on North Howard Avenue advised that the new construction bordering their homes coupled with the heavy rain cause portions of their property to collapse including a driveway.

"In regards to new construction, I was at that site...It is very scary," said Bram. "I think we need to consider tightening our current building code possibly."

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