April 04, 2022

Suburban flooding to be addressed with $1.5M in federal funding

Source: WFLD


DOLTON, Ill. - Roughly $1.5 million in federal funding is on the way to address sewer repairs in the south suburbs of DoltonHarveyRiverdale and west suburban Stone Park.

All of these communities have experienced issues with stormwater runoff that has caused flooding and sewage back-ups.

The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD), working with Sens. Tammy Duckworth and Dick Durbin, not only want to mitigate flooding, they also want to protect the environment.

"With the help of this earmark, MWRD is focused on increasing flood resiliency in historically underserved communities in our region," Durbin said in a news release. "Rain in these communities too often leads to flooded homes and environmental contamination from sewer system overflows. The federal funding we announced today will help these communities finally solve these issues by assessing the condition of their aging sewer systems, finding problem areas, and fixing them."

Dolton homeowner Jasmine Walker said she knows the problems only too well.

"It's very frustrating, it's a sewer right in front of my house and it's very costly. The sewer backs up and the water floods into my basement and also went to my crawlspace," said Walker. 

Walker added that she's happy to hear about the repairs.

"It's long overdue, it's definitely needed and we are excited about it," said the Dolton Mayor's Chief of Staff, Nakita McGraw.

"One of the things about the mayor [Tiffany Henyard] here is she actually equally has a program. She's giving $1.5 million to a lot of the senior homeowners to fix their roofs and their windows, so this addition is completely amazing for the residents in Dolton I'm excited about it," McGraw said.

"We thank Senator Duckworth and Senator Durbin for their valuable leadership and collaboration in securing $1.5 million in funding that will support four historically underserved communities challenged by infiltration and inflow into sanitary sewer systems," said MWRD President Kari Steele. "This initiative exemplifies how federal funding can be leveraged to provide multiple benefits and combines many of our initiatives in managing stormwater, treating wastewater and protecting the quality of our area waterways, while also protecting vulnerable communities deserving of our help."

The senators secured the funding thanks in part to the recent omnibus package that passed the U.S. Senate and now heads to President Joe Biden to be signed into law. 

In total, Sens. Duckworth and Durbin, majority whip and member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, were able to secure $211 million total for Illinois projects in 2022, according to a news release.

By:  Roseanne Tellez