Sanitary & Storm Sewers

The Village maintains a network of nearly 40 miles of sanitary sewer mains and 70 miles of storm sewer mains.

Sanitary Sewers

The sanitary sewer system collects and carries wastewater from residential and commercial sources through the Village’s system and delivers it to the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRDGC) for treatment. Sinks, tubs, showers, toilets, washing machines and floor drains in basements are all sources of wastewater that enter the sanitary sewer system.

Sanitary Sewers and I/I

Inflow and Infiltration (I/I) into sanitary sewers is a major problem which to continues plague several North Shore communities. When rainwater enters the sanitary sewer during rain events, the capacity of the sanitary sewer is significantly decreased.  

I-I Table - Copy

Decreased capacity of the sanitary sewers from I/I can contribute to basement backups and sanitary sewer overflows.  

In the early 1990's, as required by the MWRDGC, the Village conducted a comprehensive condition assessment of the Village's sanitary sewer collection system in order to identify sources of I/I.  

In 2017, as part of the MWRDGC's Inflow and Infiltration Control Program (IICP) the Village will be relaunching the condition assessment program of the sanitary sewer collection system. 

Sanitary Sewer Backups

If you experience a sanitary sewer backup in your home, call the Public Works Department at (847) 835-4111 during business hours (8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.).  During after hours call Public Safety non-emergency number at (847) 835-4112.

Examples of sanitary sewer backups include:

  • water backing up through a floor drain
  • lower level toilet back up
  • lower level laundry sink backup
It is advised that residents seek the assistance of the Public Works Department before calling a private contractor. The Public Works Department can help troubleshoot the problem and provide recommendations on what corrective actions could be taken. If you have sewer related questions, or want to report a hazardous situation regarding a Village sewer, contact the Public Works Department.

If you have experienced sewer backups in the past, there are some measures you can take to reduce the likelihood of experiencing a sewer backup in the future:

  • Install a flood control system or an overhead sewer system on your sanitary service
  • Install stand pipes or caps on problematic floor drains
  • Clear window well drains of debris, or consider covers
  • Make sure downspouts carry water away from your house; re-grade as needed
  • Install a battery back-up pump on your sump pump system
  • Perform annual inspections on your storm and sanitary sewer systems to ensure their integrity
The Village provides residents the opportunity to participate in the Sanitary Sewer Flood Prevention Rebate Program for the installation of flood control systems and overhead sewer systems.  

Storm Sewers

The storm sewer system collects and discharges rain water runoff from streets and allowable home connections to natural drainage areas. Gutters and downspouts, sump pumps, yard drainage systems, and street inlets are all sources of water that enters the storm sewer system.
Storm sewers within the Village drain water to one of two final discharge points: Lake Michigan or the North Branch of the Chicago River.  Residents are reminded that waters collected via the storm sewer system are directly discharged back into the environment without any treatment.  The direct disposal of waste products (paint, oils, pet waste, etc) into the storm sewer system is strictly prohibited!

If you witness the improper disposal of waste into the storm sewer system, report the incident via the Village's Report a Concern Portal

Dump No Wast Scan - Copy
Stormwater flooding

If you experience clearwater basement flooding, report the incident via the Village's Report a Concern Portal.

Examples of clearwater flooding include:

  • Seepage (through cracks in basement walls or floor)
  • Water entering home through window well
  • Water entering home under an exterior basement door
  • Water entering garage under garage door