Managing Flooding On or Near Your Property

From time to time, flooding occurs in the community. While there can be a number of reasons for a flooding event, the Village works with residents and businesses to help mitigate and reduce the number of stormwater flooding events in the Village. Use this page to find out how you can help manage flooding on or near your property.

Disconnecting Your Downspout

Reporting Active Flooding Concerns

If there is active flooding on your property or on a street, report it to the Village. Use the following descriptions to figure out the best way to report it:

Active Basement Flooding (i.e. water is seeping in through window wells or your basement walls) 

Contact the Public Works Department immediately at 847-272-4711 during regular business hours (7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday) or the Police Department at 847-262-2060 outside of those hours. Important: A sewer backup (i.e. sewage flooding into your basement) can be reported the same way though please describe the situation to help determine which crew needs to respond.

Active Street Flooding

 Major street flooding (i.e. flooding where the water is actively rising or is unsafe to drive or walk through) should be immediately reported to the Public Works Department at 847-272-4711 during regular business hours (7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday) or the Police Department at 847-262-2060 outside of those hours. Minor standing water on the road can be reported using the Village’s GONorthbrook service request system. Blocked storm sewer inlets can also be reported using the GONorthbrook service request system at this link. Please include photos if possible to help staff review the issue.

Active Yard Flooding or Standing Water

Yard flooding and standing water (in a ditch or other area), while not as serious as basement flooding, should be evaluated. To request a consultant, please submit a request through GONorthbrook. Please include photos to help staff review the issue if possible.

Flooding from New Construction or Downspouts

If a new construction project is leading to increased flooding on your property, contact the Public Works Department using the NorthbrookGO System for follow-up. Depending on the nature of flooding, use the following links:

To report flooding issues from new construction, click here.

To report flooding issues from a downspout, click here.

To report flooding issues related to sump pump discharges, click here.

Proactive Approaches to Flooding

Learn about Floodplains in the Village

Learn about floodplains, how they work and what to do if you live in one at this link.

Overheard Sewer and Drainage Cost-Sharing Programs

In response to recommendations in the Stormwater Master Plan approved in 1996 and wide spread flooding that occurred in Northbrook after storms in September of 2008, the Village Board authorized two programs to help residents with private property flooding issues. Under these programs the Village will reimburse residents for up to 50% of the costs to complete improvements to their property to help minimize the chance or severity of future flooding. These programs include the 50/50 Overhead Sewer and the 50/50 Drainage program.

50/50 Overhead Sanitary Sewer Conversion Program
For information on the Village's 50/50 Overhead Sanitary Sewer Conversion program, please see this page on the Development & Planning Services Department's page.

Private Property Cost Share Drainage Program
Residents that have experienced overland, rear, side, or front yard flooding can help protect their homes and alleviate some ponding or standing water in their yards by making improvements to their property that may include but not be limited to: re-grading their yards, installing swales, berms, or rain gardens, or a number of other options. Residents with flooding conditions that qualify for this program will be reimbursed for a share of the improvement cost, up to $5,000 subject to funding availability. Village contribution for cost share drainage projects will be up to 30% for projects involving drain and/or pipe infrastructure, and Village contribution will be up to 70% for natural solutions including but not limited to swales and rain gardens. As is the case with the 50/50 Overhead Sewer Conversion program, residents are reminded that a permit and inspection of this work is required regardless of whether or not a property owner is participating in this 50/50 program. 

Residents wishing to participate in the program can view the Drainage Program Cost Reimbursement Application (PDF). In addition view the Village's Drainage Protection Cost Program Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) (PDF). Learn more and view the Rain Garden Cross Section Diagram (PDF). Residents wanting more information on the Cost Share Drainage program or to inquire about participating can contact the Public Works Department via the GONorthbrook Service Request system

River and Stream Maintenance

If you live near or next to a river or stream, you can help mitigate future flooding but regularly checking it for obstructions. 

Resident Maintenance
If your property is located adjacent to a river/stream (watercourse), please try to keep the banks and channel clear of debris. Any filling or dumping of grass clippings, branches, other types of yard waste and trash can obstruct the flow of water or reduce the conveyance capacity which could potentially cause flooding problems to upstream properties. If you observe any filling, dumping or evidence of past filling/dumping in any water course in the Village, please contact Metropolitan Water Reclamation District’s Small Stream Maintenance at 312-751-5106 to have the obstructions removed.

Causing an obstruction in any watercourse within the Village is in violation of Section 16-3 of the Northbrook Municipal Code. No filling of any watercourse is allowed unless the proper state and Village permit requirements have been meet.

Residents are encouraged to perform routine maintenance checks of any watercourse adjacent to their property at least twice a year to ensure that no obstructions are present or unauthorized filling has occurred. If you have any additional questions please contact the Public Works Department at 847-272-4711. 

Green Your Yard

Adding a rain barrel to or building a rain garden on your property can be a smart, efficient way to help reduce stormwater runoff and save money on watering. Learn more on the Village’s Green Your Yard page.