With rains causing Crystal Lake to flow over Lake Avenue where Crystal Lake and Lakewood meet for the first time anyone can remember, the Lakewood Village Board meeting was packed with concerned, frustrated, outraged citizens.
Even though sewer mains in old Lakewood were lined with plastic pipe within the last ten years, infiltration of storm water has overwhelmed the new sewer line on Broadway.
Toilet paper has been seen coming out of manholes.
What was originally thought to be a brown rock by a neighbor on Hampshire turned out to be squishy when stepped on.
The man in charge of Lakewood’s sewage treatment plant, Gary Zickuhr. offered some good advice.
He said that residents with flooded basements contaminated with sewage should treat them like a pool.
Putting clorine it the water would be a good idea.
He also warned against trying to completely drain a basement.
Zickuhr pointed to one woman who had five feet of water in her basement, but who managed to get the level down to one foot.
Hydrostatic pressure caused the floor to crack.
The good news is that the wet well at the Broadway pumping station is down to 15 feet from 16.6 feet.
The bad news is that there is a 50-50 chance of significant rainfall tomorrow night.
Something I had not realized is that residents of Country Club Additions Subdivision should be minimizing the use of water at their homes.
The reason, obvious in retrospect, is that water that going into the sewer just increases pressure on the rest of the subdivision’s residents.
The meeting was a long one, lasting almost four hours.
The biggest portion was interaction between aggrieved residents and Village President Paul Serwatka.
Blame was placed on the inadequate sewage pipes, but the engineer who designed it pointed out that it was designed to carry sewage, not storm water and infiltration of storm water was what was overloading the system.
Residents wanted action now, but suggestions from virtually everyone with experience in the field indicated that remedial action cannot be taken until the water goes down.
After the public comment period, the Board did approve a contract to send video cameras into all 95 of the manholes in what newcomers and real estate agents call “The Gates.”
But that $5,700 worth of work by Midwest Water Group of McHenry cannot start until after the water recedes.
Residents in low spots in their neighborhoods wanted the village to send the tank trucks being used to pump water from the overloaded Broadway pumping station to drain their yards.
Those with knowledge of hydrology pointed out that such low spots would just fill up again.
Village officials were urged to contact Crystal Lake to request permission to send storm and sewage water through the pipes to its sewage treatment plant.
Serwatka said he would do so.