6 Ways to Reduce or Minimize Flooding in Yards and Basements

6 Ways to Reduce or Minimize Flooding in Yards and Basements

The Kane County Environmental and Water Resources Division develops, evaluates and implements programs to protect the health, safety and welfare of Kane County residents and the environment.

With all the rain we have received this spring, many homeowners have experienced flooding in their yards or water in their basement. Sometimes, flooding can’t be avoided when heavy rains fall in a short period of time and overwhelm the drainage systems, like the storm that occurred last week. But there are a few things homeowners can do to minimize possible flooding. If you think you may have a draining issue, check out CCTV Drain Survey London to take a look at the problem.

Here are six recommendations, courtesy of the Environmental and Water Resources Division:

Helpful Hints for Homeowners: Pre-Storm

1. Be aware of your yard grading.

Make sure the ground drains away from your house. Avoid constructing improvements in your yard that block the natural flow of water.

2. Pay attention to gutters and downspouts.

Make frequent checks that downspouts are directed away from your home and are properly connected. Clean gutters frequently if you are in a wooded area. Be respectful of neighbors. Avoid directing downspouts towards neighboring houses and instead direct them towards yard swales or ditches.

3. Test your sump pump.


Sump pump with proper air gap.

If your pump runs frequently, you are likely in an area with a high groundwater table. Consider installing a battery backup pump in case the power goes out. Make sure your sump discharges far enough away from your home so you aren’t recirculating the water. Discharging sump pumps that run constantly to road ditches makes them difficult to maintain and excessive vegetation can slow the flow of water during a large rain event.

If you can’t discharge your sump to an open area in your backyard, consider building a dry well, which is an area filled with stone in the ground to accept the water.

Again, be courteous of your neighbors. Sump flow is not considered natural flow and if the sump is damaging a neighboring property, you could be in violation of Illinois Drainage Law. Also, periodically clean your window wells and make sure they are functioning properly.

4. Know who is responsible for maintaining drainage in your subdivision.

What provisions are in place for emergency pumping or flood assessments? Many people are surprised to learn that a creeks running through their property is their responsibility so if a tree falls and is blocking the flow of water, they will need to work to remove it.

5. Talk to your homeowners association.


Water bubbling over manhole cover.

Report water bubbling from the ground, long standing water or high water in detention basins to your local authority which may be your Homeowner’s Association if they are responsible for maintaining drainage or your local municipality before it starts to rain. A blocked outflow pipe can have serious impacts during a storm event and at high water, it may not be possible to remove the blockage until the water recedes.

6. Consider how you can better manage the runoff from your property.

rainbarrelRain barrels conserve drinking water and rain gardens can be beautiful and functional additions to your landscape.

Kane County and other agencies offer rain barrels for reduced prices. Click on the following links to read more about rain barrels, find information on rail barrel sales and the various options and see the Kane-DuPage Rain Barrel Brochure.


Water Resources


Floodplain Information

Local Drainage Improvements

Stormwater Management

Watershed Planning & Special Projects

Water Supply Planning

The following documents, regulations and ordinances are implemented, administered and enforced by the Division of Environmental & Water Resources:

Kane County Operational Sustainability Plan
Kane County Stormwater Management Ordinance
Solid Waste Management & Resource Recovery Plan
Subdivision Regulations for Unincorporated Areas?