Stormwater Management, Green Infrastructure, Tunnel and Reservoir Plan Flood Control Projects and Facilities

To view a map of the MWRD’s stormwater management and flood control projects, click here.

Over the last few years, the MWRD has completed, invested in or is currently working on over 90 stormwater management and flood prevention projects throughout Cook County.

The MWRD is performing preliminary engineering and design work on several alternatives recommended for phase I projects, including flood control projects and streambank restorations. The MWRD is also constructing drainage improvements in phase II, while moving forward with its flood prone property acquisition program, Tunnel and Reservoir Plan and green infrastructure improvements that include the popular Space to Grow program.

Stormwater management phase I projects include streambank stabilization and reservoirs designed to address overbank flooding and streambank erosion issues along regional waterways. Phase I projects were identified and planned based on detailed watershed plans completed by the MWRD in 2011.

Stormwater management phase II projects involve working with local communities and agencies to address local drainage problems. The project types under Phase II include green infrastructure, localized detention, upsizing critical storm sewers and culverts, pump stations and establishing drainage ways.

Flood prone property acquisitions involve partnerships with local communities to acquire flood-damaged and flood-prone homes on a voluntary basis. MWRD is currently working with several communities to acquire flood-prone homes, which will be removed from the floodplain and preserved as open space. Additional acquisitions are being evaluated, and agreements for the purchase, transfer of property to the appropriate government agency and structure removal will follow.

Flood control reservoirs are stormwater storage areas constructed by MWRD and/or in partnership with other agencies. The reservoirs are used to temporarily impound floodwaters during storm events to reduce the impacts of flooding.

Green infrastructure projects are designed to use natural landscaping to manage water and provide environmental and community benefits. Green infrastructure prevents stormwater from entering the sewer system. All projects are constructed with partners.

To learn more about each project and read a description of each, click here.

The Mayfair Reservoir Expansion Project in Westchester will provide direct flood reduction benefits to an estimated 60 residential structures and will reduce storm-related impacts for approximately 120 homeowners. Initially placed into service in 1977, the Mayfair Reservoir was designed to accommodate a 100-year storm, but due to the unexpected frequency of these devastating storms, the MWRD chose to designate its property for the expansion and provide additional sewer improvements. Working with the village of Westchester, MWRD is minimizing the impact of future storms and improving the quality of life for homeowners.

The Buffalo Creek Reservoir Expansion Project in Buffalo Grove and the Lake County Forest Preserve District will increase the impoundment capacity of the existing flood control reservoir by approximately 180 acre-feet. Pedestrian bridges and boardwalks will be replaced and existing trails will be relocated to remove them from the 10-year storm event. Approximately 104 structures will receive flood protection from the expansion.