The County of DuPage
Wheaton, Illinois

Fawell Dam

The Fawell Dam is located on the West Branch of the DuPage River in the McDowell Grove Forest Preserve upstream of the City of Naperville. It was constructed between 1969 and 1971 by the Illinois Department of Transportation Division of Water Resources (now known as the Illinois Department of Natural Resources/Office of Water Resources). The purpose of the dam was to store floodwaters on the West Branch and thus reduce flood heights and flood damages in downtown Naperville. Moveable (operable) gates are present on the spillway (outlet) of the dam. The IDNR/OWR owned and maintained the dam until 1998, when ownership and maintenance responsibilities were transferred to DuPage County.

The Dam is approximately 26 feet high and has a crest length of approximately 1480 feet. The outlet works consist of three 10 feet by 10 feet slide gates and similarly sized concrete box culverts passing through the dam. The slide gates are opened/closed as a function of reservoir water levels upstream of the dam during storm events. The County recently updated two cameras located at the dam. This allows remote monitoring of water surface elevations as well as monitoring for security purposes.

Downstream View  Downstream Face of the Structure  
 Fawell 2  Fawell 1