Lakewood Flood Response – Thursday Edition

Yesterday I showed the hose running from the Lakewood sewers to the Crystal Lake manhole above Crystal Lake’s system.

That was at the end of Thursday.

Furniture on Broadway waiting for Friday’s garbage pickup.

Earlier I went out to take big chlorine tablets flooded South Shore neighbor Marty Walter had found eliminated the sewage smell of the water he was pumping out of his basement.

When he told me of the availability of the rest of the bucket, he let me know that, based on his experience, the trucking of sewage from the Broadway Avenue pumping station to Lakewood’s treatment plant was having a positive effect.

He had the sewage water down to one inch in his basement until 11 on Wednesday night.

Then it went up to three inches.

There was a light rain falling at the time, but, when he told the experience to one of Lakewood’s Public Works man, he learned that the tank trucks stopped running at 11.

Walters assumed that was the major cause of the increase of water at his home.

Village President Paul Serwatka on phone on Broadway.

On the way to Lakewood’s Village Hall to deliver the surplus tablets, I saw Village President on the pone near one of the port-o-potties the Village paid to have put at intersections on the western part of Broadway.

A parade of port-o-potties march down Broadway Avenue in Lakewood.

I wave and continued my drive to Village Hall.

While there a Red Cross Damage Assessment Team arrived.

The Red Cross volunteers brought in cleanup kits to Village Hall.

They were given maps and brought in supplies they had in their sedan.

When they got to Gate 22, they met up with Serwatka.

Paul Serwatka briefed the Red Cross Damage Assessment Team.

Knowing that a lot of homes that have damage show no exterior evidence of it, I decided to knock on doors in my precinct to provide leads.

I really enjoyed the experience and got three pages of addresses and note.

New Village Chief Administrative Officer drove past and we chatted.

Heather Meister points to the Crystal Lake manhole into which sewage would be pumped once Crystal Lake granted permission. Joining her is Gary Zickuhr, Lakewood’s Utility Operator.

She was on her way to the pumping station.

The Red Cross also unloaded supplies on Broadway.

Cleanup kits and bottled water were put in the median strip of Broadway Avenue.

With an hour of sewage transfer to go last night, Lakewood’s level was down to 12 feet.

Tuesday night it had been reduced from 16.6 feet to fifteen feet.

Ten feet is normal.


Lakewood Flood Response – Thursday Edition — 26 Comments

  1. A few months ago our new Prez knew that citizens were putting rainwater into the sewer system.

    A letter was then sent to us citizens warning to stop doing that and that the Village would inspect houses to stop it.

    After that letter the new Prez received complaints and backed off.

    After that Staff had identified surges of rainwater entering the sewer system and began an inspection program to try to locate illegal sump pump connections.

    With the high water table in that area, residents often experience flooding and some who don’t want standing water in their yards connect their sumps to the sewer system.

    The sewer system is not intended to process rainwater, that’s what storm sewers are for.

    When too much rainwater infiltrates the sewer system, that’s when you have problems like surcharging.

    This was a self inflicted wound that Lakewood citizens are now paying for his failure to act and his inexperience.

  2. 1″ of rain on 1 acre is 27,154 gallons.

    So this month we had roughly 20″ of rain which every acre around these parts received over 500,000 gallons of water.

    The numbers are staggering.

    No wonder why the Lake crested.

  3. If the sewage treatment plant keeps running at this flow eventually the IEPA will step in and say expand the plant or face fines.

    So either pay for a bigger plant which is quite expensive, or start installing a storm system in the flood prone areas.

    Clean up the outfall creek from the lake and maybe install a bigger dam or additional open throat outfall pipe.

    The Veterans park in Cary had problems till a additional outfall was added.

    Unfortunately that area is relatively flat and with a high water table a pump may be necessary for a new storm system too.

    A special service area may be needed so those affected pay the costs?

  4. IEPA would get involved and adjust the planning area of the village.

    Which means no new house or business builds to expand the tax base.

    Current system was built to handle future growth so when citizens put storm water in there it creates larger problems for

  5. While Queen Erin and her squires fiddled with minor league baseball, restaurants, TIFs, annexations and lots of other stuff, Lakewood burned!!

  6. Doesn’t matter which were inspected.

    Bottom line is this Prez let it get out of hand.

    This system is fairly new and Lakewood not on had capacity for all the new housing it approved but to expand West of 47.

    Now IEPA will be forced to limit their planning area.

    Which means those subdivisions on Ballard and Haligus can’t build new homes.

    No loss?

    No big deal, right?

    Well if you build based on the village to have capacity and you spend millions and the Village loses that planning area….that is a lawsuit.

    A big lawsuit.

  7. To Jim, please know the facts.

    Former Prez had agreement with CL to take some of the load.

    Also former Village Manager led the way for a new treatment center.

    Allowing you all the ability to save and expand the tax base.

    Had a AAA bond rating and had a TIF that let’s you do public works projects while letting the developers finance them through the TIF.

    Now I read that you need a new storm water system.

    Perfect for the TIF.

  8. CitizenX – which disgruntled former Lakewood personnel are you?

    Catherine Peterson?

    Shannon Andrews?

    Give us a hint.

  9. I think the Lakewood Board, should get a copy of George Well’s book, I do believe they had a copy at the CL Library.

  10. Cindy, George Wells was the CL President, before Bob Wagoner.

    George new what Lakewood was doing, the Lakewood Trustees and Village Attorney, kept him in court, to discredit what he had to say.

  11. Anotherwatcher, you should reach out to Serwatka with your insights.

    If ever there was a chance to get to the bottom of all this Lakewood shenanigans, Paul is it.

    He’s done a whole lot of house cleaning in Lakewood in a very short time.

    If there’s more that needs to be cleaned, exposed, or dug up, he’s the guy to tell.

  12. Not getting political at all on this one, but the past Lakewood president was NEVER out on Broadway talking to the homeowners when it flooded.

    I never once saw her come up to me and ask how she could help.

    I never once saw her come up ideas like trucking water out of the sewer line on Broadway, or hell…. even have public works come out and pump water out of my or any other neighbors flooded yards.

    I’m really not trying to be political here, but the current president has been visible, he came up to me on Sunday after the storm, and asked how he could help.

    Since this summer started, public works has been out every time we had a flooded yard, and pumped it to the storm sewer.

    That never happen in 2011, 2013 or any other year that we had standing water in our yards from rain.

  13. Anotherwatcher, I thought you were being facetious.

    However, I see it is an actual book.

    I contacted Paul, who assured me he would get a copy of it.

    You can always contact Paul by email at

  14. Federal Farmer, glad Paul is going to get a copy . . . this will help him.

    There were people who should have gone to jail, and what they did to George was criminal in my mind.

    I did see it first hand.

  15. Zowie! At the time I payed very little attention to this (I really had no use for the park district since I was severely chumped by them and their negligence almost cost me my only son’s life.)storyline.

    Now I am reading blurbs of Mr. Wells’ book and I am horrified that I didn’t sit up and take notice.

    Thanks peeps.

  16. Cindy, you are going to get an education if you pay attention.

    Cal did carry an article or two on the book.

    Can you go back and check Cal’s Blog for that?

  17. Yes, I could; but I’m pretty sick just reading the pages of the book that I did!

  18. Eric O, is right on the money.

    Lakewood has never seen such a hands-on leader as Paul has been.

    He’s out here one night at 11 p.m. Then we see him out again the next morning at 8 a.m.

    We continue to receive email updates of pumping progress, warnings, suggestions and added resources.

    Lakewood has never been this informed or in touch with their leaders in all the years I lived here.

  19. CitizenX/former Lakewood Deputy Manager, Shannon Andrews?
    Please explain how the “new prez” who’s been in office for 2 months now is responsible for an inadequate sewer system that’s been there for years, and for your role model, Peterson’s decision to break off from Crystal Lakes sewer system several years ago.

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