Life Amplified

How to Handle Property Flooding Problems

Many residents don't realize their subdivisions are designed to move water. Some of these paths run through backyards, side yards and even front yards. It's important not to change the grade of or block these areas. Blockages to these areas include fences, planter boxes, shrubs or other structures.

If there is a drainage swale in your yard, do not fill it in because it's important to have the swale to properly move the water. Some ponding will still occur in spots during and after a storm, and the length of time the ponding occurs will vary due to the amount of rainwater received from the storm. Subdivisions that are more than 30 years old do not have stormwater designs incorporated into their master plans. These areas, as well as other problematic areas in Tinley Park, have been or are being addressed with many different stormwater projects to help remedy this problem.

Other Things You Can Do
Several of the Village’s efforts to control stormwater flooding depend on your cooperation and assistance. Here is how you can help:

  • Always check with the Building Department before you build on, alter, regrade or place fill on your property. A grading permit may be needed to ensure that projects do not cause problems to yourself or your neighbor.
  • Do not dump or throw anything into the ditches or streams. Even grass clippings and branches can accumulate and plug channels. A plugged channel cannot carry water, and when it rains the water has to go somewhere. Every piece of trash contributes to flooding.
  • If your property is next to a ditch or stream, please do your part and keep the banks clear of brush and debris. The Village has a stream maintenance program that can help remove major blockages such as downed trees and beaver dams.
  • If you see dumping or debris in the ditches or streams, contact the Public Works Department at (708) 444-5500.
Residential Drainage Assistance

Periodically, homeowners may experience drainage issues on their property. Property owners of residential, single-family lots can be eligible for Village assistance in addressing drainage issues on the property, but only if the property complies with all of the following issues:

  • Standing water must remain where the proposed improvements are to take place for at least 72 hours after the rain storm commences. The standing water problem cannot be due to the ground being frozen.
  • The standing water must come from an adjacent property, not just the property in need of improvement.
  • The standing water problem cannot be due to sump pump discharge lines, downspouts and/or lawn sprinklers. Land owner shall be prepared to confirm this for the Village.
  • The property owner must hire a contractor who is fully licensed and bonded with the Village of Tinley Park and apply for assistance up to $2,000.
  • Benefitted homeowners will be reimbursed after the Village receives the contractor’s paid invoice from the resident up to a maximum of $2,000. Agreements for their participation will be executed prior to the beginning of the project.
  • Any obstructions in Village easements such as trees, shrubs, plantings, sheds, swing sets, etc. shall not be reinstalled in their original locations. All improvements shall be done in easements and right of way in order to qualify for Village funding.
  • Ponding water problems entering the house/basements will be of highest priority.
  • All eligible projects will be ranked based on the Residential Drainage Assistance Guidelines and the number of yearly projects will be based on the funds available in the Village Budget.
  • The Village retains the right to make a determination on each request for assistance, on a case-by-case basis.

Residents will be required to connect any new sump pump to underdrain improvements, and be required to notify the Village so an inspection can be made to ensure an air gap is provided at the foundation as per Village standard. The Village will request funds being allocated to the Village budget each year. The funding will be subject to change each year.

If you meet the above criteria, please email your contact information to