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Excess water affects roughly 20% of the land in the United States. Whether it be from high groundwater tables, flooding zones, or just particularly rainy weather, the resulting flooding can be a nuisance in your lawn and a danger to your home, Luckily, a number of solutions are available.

The village encourages you to take matters into your own hands to fix your property's drainage issues, but please be aware that solutions altering the natural flow of water such as dams and regrading may require special permission. This is a fineable offense if done without adequate permissions. If you are unsure of what to do, you may call Public Service at 630-789-7382 to talk to the Engineering Department or request to meet with someone in your yard for a personal drainage assessment.

Visit the DuPage County Storm Water Management site for more information.

How do I get a permit?
To get a permit, you can apply through Community Development in the village offices at 19 E. Chicago Avenue in Hinsdale. You will need a permit if your landscaping may alter the grading of the site such that existing drainage flows will be altered (as per Village Ordinance 9-13-4). However, your permit may be denied if it will "unreasonably divert or detain surface water onto adjacent properties or the public rights of way; alter existing drainage patterns so as to adversely impact adjacent properties or the public rights of way; or increase concentrate runoff of stormwater onto adjacent properties or the public rights of way".

For more information, please consult Chapter 13 of the Village Ordinances or give us a call at 630-789-7030.

Why is my lawn wet?
If a flooded lawn has been a long-standing problem, your house could be located along the natural drainage path. Additionally, your area could have a high groundwater table. Deeper basements are more likely to encounter groundwater in places where shallow basements might not. An overactive sump pump could be indicative of having reached groundwater, and the sump pump may be pumping groundwater straight out of the ground onto your lawn.

Your area could be in a special flood hazard area, as determined by FEMA. To view FEMA's preliminary flood hazard data, click here.

New flooding can have natural causes, like a heavy rainfall within the past week or a particularly wet season. Sources can also be man-made, such as development uphill or a change to neighboring drainage patterns. In this case, the easiest solution may be to talk directly to your neighbor. Many people are not aware that they cause issues downstream, and will often make changes once they realize that a problem exists. If you believe they are violating the village ordinance, you can also report it and the village will look into it further.

What sort of solutions are available?
The best solution will vary from lot to lot. It is recommended that you get more than one estimate before contracting out work, and carefully consider which options will work best for you. Below are some possible solutions to a flooded yard. Remember, a perfectly dry lawn may not be possible.

  Rain Gardens
    • Grassy planted area that retains water
    • Slowly releases water to prevent flooding of surrounding areas
    • Ideal for areas that flood during rain

To learn more about rain gardens, please visit our Rain Gardens and Green Infrastructure page here.
 raingarden
Rain Garden in Hinsdale

 Water-Loving Plants and Trees
    • Soak up water from the lawn
    • Easy to target soggy areas
    • Ideal for frequently saturated yards
 
 
Japanese_water_lily  red maple 
  Japanese Water Lily
 Red Maple Tree

 Level Spreaders
    • Holds water in a permeable chamber underground
    • Overflows in more than one place in the yard
    • Ideal for dealing with active sump pumps and water from gutters
 

 Swales
    • Subtle ditches dug in yard grading
    • Easily directs water along a path
    • Ideal for draining areas that pond frequently
 
 swale
 A swale
 
 Dry Wells
    • Large volume tank that holds water underground
    • Permeable material lets water soak into ground
    • Ideal for areas heavily affected by rain
 


 Permeable Pavers
    • Stone path of sorts with empty space for drainage
    • Drainage-minded alternative to other walkways
    • Ideal during development for preventing future issues 
 pavers


 Rain Barrels
    • Stores rain from downspouts for later watering use
    • Provides some water retention during rain
    • Ideal for small aid during rain and collecting water to use
 

Can't I just connect directly to the storm sewer?
Storm sewer connections require special permission. Generally, requests to tie sump pumps in directly will be denied to avoid overflowing the sewer during rain events. Village practice dictates that water from sump pumps or downspout bubblers must run over at least 20 feet of vegetation to give it a chance to soak in before running off into streets or other properties. Please be aware that failing to comply with this can result in a fine, even if it was a previous owner who installed it without the Village's permission.