DuPage County has six watershed planning areas: Salt Creek, East Branch DuPage River, West Branch DuPage River, Sawmill Creek, Des Plaines River Tributaries and Fox River Tributaries. These watershed plans are used to identify potential improvement projects to alleviate current and anticipated flooding problems; identify water quality problems; index significant natural areas, storage areas and wetlands; and revise floodplain maps. These areas have documented flood damages and water impairments requiring capital measures to address the flooding and water quality issues. Regional stormwater management projects are considered for County funding and implementation if a problem area meets the regional criteria—meaning the source or the solution to flooding involves multiple jurisdictions. Watershed models are used to analyze possible alternatives, which are then presented to the Stormwater Management Committee and County Board in the form of a watershed plan or flood control plan. The plans include alternative solutions addressing all reported and projected flood damages, including capital improvements, voluntary buyouts, erosion control, water quality enhancements and flood proofing.
Once a recommended alternative for a watershed plan or flood control plan is adopted and funding is available, staff will proceed with the design, permitting and construction of the individual projects that make up the recommended alternative. DuPage County frequently utilizes outside engineering consultants for the development of design plans and specifications, as well as to obtain the required permits for the project. Once all land rights have been acquired, the projects are publically bid through the County’s Purchasing and Procurement Department. DuPage County has pursued stormwater projects since the inception of the Stormwater Management program, and, in total, has constructed or updated 15 stormwater facilities throughout all six watersheds. Many of these flood control projects also include water quality components to ensure compliance with federal water quality standards and regulations.
Future watershed planning studies or addendums to existing watershed plans will address remaining flooding problems within the existing watersheds. Additionally, they will be used to update and revise floodplain maps, identify water quality enhancements and forecast potential flood situations.