May 27, 2005

Stormwater Solution Eyed for Southern Illinois

A stormwater management committee was recently formed to tackle what has so far been an intractable problem: intractable: flooding in the low-lying areas of Pontoon Beach and Granite City, located in southern Illinois, according to Edwardsville Intelligencer.
Flooding occurred in January when about seven inches of rain caused water to back up.
"Basically, people were taking their stormwater and putting it into the sewer district line and the sewer districts were backing up," said Madison County Board Chairman Alan Dunstan at a recent press conference.
Efforts began in February with the formation of a committee of county and township officials. That was later expanded to involve federal and state officials as well as officials from Granite City, Pontoon Beach, and Edwardsville. The group has focused on making immediate improvements but is also looking at long-term solutions.
Joe Parente, the county's administrator of planning and development, said that Choteau and Nameoki townships are particularly vulnerable to flood problems because stormwater drains from the bluffs into the American Bottoms area and into the Horseshoe Lake watershed.
The lake itself, however, has silted over. One of the committee's short-term goals is to "make drainage channel improvements in the southeast corner of Horseshoe Lake that would improve the flow between Horseshoe Lake and Cahokia Canal."
State officials have been contacted about opening up the channel. The committee will address the long-term problem of siltation at Horseshoe and Long lakes.