Calumet: First and Forever

Chapter 5: Stormwater Management

CFF-Photo 5.1
CFF-Photo 5.1

Photo 5.1. March 12, 2020, Stony Creek East Branch at California Avenue in Blue Island, looking upstream. Downstream of this point, the creek is enclosed for about 1,000 feet, passing under California Avenue, private property, Vermont Street, and two railroads. The California Avenue headwall is about one-half mile upstream of the creek’s mouth at the Calumet-Sag Channel. (Photo by author)

CFF-Photo 5.2
CFF-Photo 5.2

Photo 5.2. March 12, 2020. A remnant of the North Drainage Ditch, also called Mosquito Creek, is mostly underground or hidden in private property. It is visible here, looking upstream from 12900 South Kostner Avenue, next to the Village of Alsip water standpipe. Downstream of this point, the creek is underground beneath the huge Swap-O-Rama Flea Market parking lot. (Photo by author)

CFF-Photo 5.3
CFF-Photo 5.3

Photo 5.3. October 3, 2019. Passing under Edison Avenue and a railroad, the outlet from Oak Lawn Lake flows into the Oak Lawn Cutoff Ditch in Oak Lawn. The right rectangular outlet is for low flow and the left elliptical outlet is for higher stormwater flow from the village storm sewer system. (Photo by author)

CFF-Photo 5.4
CFF-Photo 5.4

Photo 5.4. October 3, 2019. The primary inlet to the Melvina Reservoir is near the corner of Eighty-Sixth Street and Natchez Avenue. The reservoir is the outlet for local storm sewers in the western part of Burbank and was enlarged in 2019 to better serve the tributary area. (Photo by author)

CFF-Photo 5.5
CFF-Photo 5.5

Photo 5.5. October 3, 2019. Following a storm event that fills Melvina Reservoir, the Melvina Ditch Pumping Station, located on Eighty-Seventh Street west of Natchez Avenue, evacuates the water into an enclosed conduit, formerly open Melvina Ditch, running south to Ninety-Fifth Street. Along with reservoir expansion, the pumping station capacity was increased. (Photo by author)

CFF-Photo 5.6
CFF-Photo 5.6

Photo 5.6. October 3, 2019. Melvina Ditch sees daylight on the south side of Ninety-Fifth Street, west of Nashville Avenue in Oak Lawn. The ditch continues south almost one mile to its confluence with Stony Creek West Branch. The District is currently engaged in a streambank stabilization project on Melvina Ditch between Ninety-Fifth and Ninety-Ninth streets. (Photo by author)

CFF-Photo 5.7
CFF-Photo 5.7

Photo 5.7. October 3, 2019. The Tinley Park Reservoir has significantly reduced flood damages along Midlothian Creek downstream of 167th Street. In the background, the dike and culverts in the creek limit the amount of flow going downstream, sending floodwater into the reservoir. The railing in the foreground surrounds the outlet from the pumping station. (Photo by author)

CFF-Photo 5.8
CFF-Photo 5.8

Photo 5.8. October 3, 2019. The pumping station, partially hidden by a tree, sits near the dike and culverts controlling flow in the creek. After a storm event, the pumping station will not add water to the creek until the creek level recedes and can safely handle additional flow. The reservoir is in Centennial Park in the midst of a residential neighborhood. (Photo by author)

CFF-Photo 5.9
CFF-Photo 5.9

Photo 5.9. October 3, 2019. Excess flow was still being discharged into the reservoir resulting from the October 2 and 3, 2019, storm event. Stormwater in the reservoir will be held as long as necessary until the creek downstream can safely accommodate additional flow. (Photo by author)

CFF-Photo 5.10
CFF-Photo 5.10

Photo 5.10. October 3, 2019. As can be seen by trees standing in water, the reservoir has swallowed a large volume of floodwater from Midlothian Creek. The temporarily stored water may last for several days until the downstream creek can safely accommodated additional flow. (Photo by author)

CFF-Photo 5.11
CFF-Photo 5.11

Photo 5.11. October 3, 2019. The plaque mounted on the pumping station shows many agencies that participated in the planning, design, and construction of the Tinley Park Reservoir. Since construction in 1988, the District operates and maintains the reservoir structures and the Tinley Park Park District maintains the grounds for recreational use. (Photo by author)

CFF-Photo 5.12
CFF-Photo 5.12

Photo 5.12. 2019. Long Run flows into Will County and empties into the I&M Canal about 14700 South. Looking south along the I&M Canal, one-half-mile downstream from the confluence, high flows are diverted at this structure into Deep Run. Several hundred feet further downstream on the I&M Canal, a broad-crested weir restricts the flow through Lockport. (Photo by author)

CFF-Photo 5.13
CFF-Photo 5.13

Photo 5.13. 2019. From the Gaylord Donnelly Trail bridge shown in the prior photograph, looking west, Deep Run begins flowing west under the railroad tracks, then south parallel to the Sanitary & Ship Canal through Lockport. Deep Run was created by the District when the Sanitary & Ship Canal was extended to Joliet in 1907. (Photo by author)

CFF-Photo 5.14
CFF-Photo 5.14

Photo 5.14. October 3, 2019. Looking northeast at the Calumet Union Drainage Ditch (CUDD) downstream from State Street in South Holland. In about one-half mile, the ditch will empty into the Little Calumet River. The CUDD has more than one outlet to the river. The lower part of the watershed in Harvey, Hazel Crest, Markham, and South Holland have a history of flooding. (Photo by author)

CFF-Photo 5.15
CFF-Photo 5.15

Photo 5.15. May 9, 2019, looking west. Most of the length of the ditch in the lower part of the watershed has been paved or enclosed underground to improve flow capacity. Farther up the watershed, a branch of the Calumet Union Drainage Ditch flows eastward under Dixie Highway in Markham. (Photo by author)

CFF-Photo 5.16
CFF-Photo 5.16

Photo 5.16. October 10, 2019. This branch of the Calumet Union Drainage Ditch is named Prairie Creek. Looking northeast from the Toll Plaza service road near 167th Street, the creek, although improved, was not paved and becomes filled with vegetation. However, vegetation alone is not a serious impediment to flow capacity. (Photo by author)

CFF-Photo 5.17
CFF-Photo 5.17

Photo 5.17. October 10, 2019. The Edward C. Howell Reservoir was built by the District to reduce flood damages in the Calumet Union Drainage Ditch watershed. The inlet spillway diverts floodwater from Prairie Creek into the reservoir, viewed here looking north. Nearby, a pumping station will return the floodwater to the creek when flooding recedes. (Photo by author)

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CFF-Photo 5.18

Photo 5.18. October 10, 2019. Deer Creek, a tributary of Thorn Creek, flows north in south Cook County. About 300 feet south of Lincoln Highway, US Route 30, a foot bridge off Deer Creek Drive, crosses the creek leading to the Deer Creek Reservoir and aquatic habitat enhancement area in Ford Heights. Built by the US Army Corps of Engineers, the gravity-type reservoir spreads floodwater over a large floodplain area. (Photo by author)

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CFF-Photo 5.19

Photo 5.19. October 10, 2019. Looking north from Twenty-Seventh Street in Park Forest, Thorn Creek continues flowing north through Indian Hill Woods. Most of the length of Thorn Creek is through forest preserves or open land. Thorn Creek, the largest tributary of the Little Calumet River, empties into the river in South Holland. (Photo by author)

CFF-Photo 5.20
CFF-Photo 5.20

Photo 5.20. October 10, 2019. The Lincoln-Lansing Drainage Ditch flow north under Lincoln Highway, US Route 30, in Lynwood. The lower part of the watershed was once part of historic Cady Marsh extending east into Indiana. Once mostly farmland, residential development occupies more of the area. The Lincoln-Lansing Drainage District created most of the ditches draining the area. (Photo by author)

CFF-Photo 5.21
CFF-Photo 5.21

Photo 5.21. October 10, 2019. The Dr. Mary Woodland Reservoir was built by the District to reduce flood damages in the Lincoln-Lansing Ditch watershed. Looking north across the inlet spillway, part of one of three floodwater storage pools in the reservoir is visible. Temporarily stored floodwater is returned to the ditch by a nearby pumping station when flood levels have receded. (Photo by author)

CFF-Photo 5.22
CFF-Photo 5.22

Photo 5.22. October 10, 2019. Looking southwest, floodwater will back up into the area southwest of the broad-crested weir and eventually overtop the weir to enter the reservoir. A large wetland bordering the Lincoln-Lansing Ditch occupies the area south of the weir. (Photo by author)

CFF-Photo 5.23
CFF-Photo 5.23

Photo 5.23. 2019. In addition to the weir at left, low berms in the foreground and background will overtop when flooding occurs, maximizing the amount of floodwater that can enter the reservoir. From the reservoir site, Lincoln-Lansing Ditch flows north through Lynwood and Lansing, becoming North Creek. The creek turns west, flows through Brownell Woods and empties into Thorn Creek near Thornton. (Photo by author)

CFF-Photo 5.24
CFF-Photo 5.24

Photo 5.24. April 11, 2014. Composite in the name of the Thornton Composite Reservoir recognizes its dual role in controlling surface flooding on Thorn Creek and combined sewer overflow from combined sewers in the South Area. The site is north of the Tri-State Tollway (Interstate Route 294) and west of State Street in Thornton. Looking southeast, construction is still underway. (MWRD photo 20140411)

CFF-Photo 5.25
CFF-Photo 5.25

Photo 5.25. May 9, 2019. Over a billion gallons of combined sewage and stormwater are in the Thornton Composite Reservoir. Looking south, traffic passes on the tollway above the concrete dam blocking a former passage between the south and north lobes of the Thornton Quarry. The District purchased the north lobe and completed the reservoir in November 2015. (Photo by author)