Responsible Water Management
The Village of Northbrook is situated in two watersheds. Depending on where you are located, the excess water in your area may run off into the North Branch of the Chicago River or the Lower Des Plaines River. Both of these waterways ultimately lead to the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico. To avoid contamination in our precious waterways, consider taking action to reduce pollution.
Subsidized Programs for Private Property Flooding
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 Sanitary Sewer Program and the 50/50 Property Drainage Program.
50/50 Overhead Sanitary Sewer Cost Participation Program
Offered on a first-come first-serve basis, the Overhead Sanitary Sewer Cost Participation Program helps property owners protect their home from sewer backups during intense wet weather conditions. Interested residents should consult the eligibility requirements and program process overview.
Private Property Cost Share Drainage Program
Residents experiencing overland, rear, side, or front yard flooding can help protect their homes and alleviate 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, 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 and the Village’s Drainage Protection Cost Program Standard Operating Procedure. Learn more and view the Rain Garden Cross Section Diagram. Residents wanting more information on the Cost Share Drainage program or to inquire about participating can submit a GONorthbrook Service Request.
In an effort to best manage storm water and encourage sustainable actions, the Village offers a subsidized rain barrel program for its residents. Residents can purchase up to two 55-gallon rain barrels for just $25 each at Village Hall. Rain barrels collect storm water runoff and store it until it can be used for watering. The spigot can attach to a garden hose, landscape tubing, or drip tubing. This eco-friendly solution conserves water, reduces your water bill, and reduces excess storm water that contributes to localized flooding. The barrels available are 23 inches in diameter, 35-38 inches tall, and made of high-density polyethylene. Please be prepared to transport the barrel home, as the Village does not deliver. Further instructions on rain barrel usage is found here.
The Village of Northbrook has banned the use and sale of coal tar based pavement sealants within its boundaries. Coal tar contains polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), a toxin harmful to aquatic life and humans at higher exposure levels. Residents and businesses may still seal their driveways with asphalt-based sealers to protect their driveways or parking lots from weathering. All pavement-sealing contractors working in Northbrook are required to be licensed by the Village. Pavement sealing licenses for contractors are available from the Development and Planning Services Department at Village Hall and cost $60.00. Contractors are required to sign an affidavit acknowledging that they will not use coal tar based sealants and are required to keep Safety Data Sheets to identify the material they are using.
Anti-Icing and Salt Reduction
Road salt has adverse effects on the environment when it washes off roadways, seeps into the ground, and enters our waterways. When salt levels increase in our nearby freshwater systems, plants lose hydration, aquatic wildlife may die, and water quality worsens. Road salt has adverse effects when it spills off onto trees as well.
The Village of Northbrook utilizes a beet juice/salt brine blend to pre-treat roads before snow falls, which contributes to less salt being used on roadways. Incoming significant snow or wintry weather, Village roads are pre-treated so that accumulation of snow and ice is delayed. This means there is less snow and ice to be melted with salt, thus resulting in about 30% reduction in road salt used.
Did you know that you can do the same at home? Instead of using salt to remove snow or ice from your driveway or sidewalk, consider making your own salt brine to pre-treat your sidewalk or driveway. This can help you reduce your salt usage by up to 30%. To learn how you can pre-treat your driveway or sidewalk with a salt brine and reduce the amount of salt you use, see graphics provided for residential usage and roadways courtesy of Jim Huff and Jeremy Reynolds, Environmental Quality Commission Chair. Alternative to creating your own anti-icing can, you may use a watering can for easy dispersal of the solution.