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Stormwater Master Plan

Master Plan Strategy

Since 1994, the Village of Winnetka has completed a number of stormwater capacity improvements, including new and replacement storm sewers, stormwater pumping stations, and outfall improvements.

While these projects have provided needed improvement to flood prone areas, several extreme weather events in recent years have highlighted a need for additional improvements in these areas, and other areas subject to stormwater flooding.

The Village’s Stormwater Master Plan, completed in 2014, provides a comprehensive policy to guide efforts in flood management, stormwater drainage (detention, retention, and sewers), stormwater quality, floodplain management, green infrastructure, and wastewater.

Master Plan Components

• Flood Risk Reduction Studies and Recommendations – Over the past several years, the Village has completed flood risk reduction studies for eight separate areas that have exhibited significant flooding of streets or properties. The infrastructure improvements recommended in those studies has been incorporated into the Stormwater Master Plan. All previously unstudied areas of the Village and related recommended infrastructure improvements are also a componenet of Winnetka’s Master Plan document.

• Sanitary Sewer Inflow and Infiltration Reduction – Inflow and Infiltration in the sanitary sewer system are two of the major causes of sewer back-ups. Stormwater can be a significant source of both inflow and infiltration. A sanitary sewer flow monitoring study in the Village was completed in August 2012 and the results of this study identified portions of the Village that are subject to excessive inflow and infiltration. The Stormwater Master Plan includes a strategy for reducing inflow and infiltration in the sanitary sewer system.

• Maintenance Planning – The Village’s stormwater management system requires ongoing maintenance. The Stormwater Master Plan recommends a strategy for maintaining the Village’s sewers, inlets, pumping stations and detention basins.

• Evaluate Regulations – The Village Code currently regulates stormwater impacts from commercial and residential development. The Stormwater Master Plan addresses recommendations for updating the Village’s development regulations to include state of the art stormwater management strategies and techniques.

• Water Quality Planning – Lake Michigan and the Skokie River provide recreational and environmental benefits to the Village, but they also serve as the receiving waters for the Village’s stormwater runoff. Throughout the development of the Stormwater Master Plan, stormwater samples were tested for various water quality parameters and the Stormwater Master Plan to identify opportunities to protect or enhance water quality.

• Implementation Strategy – The Stormwater Master Plan incorporates a timeline and funding sources for implementing each of the recommendations in the plan.

Project Milestones & Approval

• July 2012 – Notice to Proceed with the Stormwater Master Plan
• November 2012 – Present recommended infrastructure improvements for Flood Risk Reduction Studies
• July 2013 – Present of Draft Stormwater Master Plan
• November 2013 – Review of stormwater-related development regulations
• December 2013 – Present pre-final Stormwater Master Plan document
• February 2014 – Publish Master Plan for public comment
• April 2014 – Stormwater Master Plan approval

Baxter & Woodman (B&W) is the Village of Winnetka’s consultant that assisted in the development of a Stormwater Master Plan—a document roadmap to guide policy and decision-making on matters related to managing stormwater runoff quantity and quality, as well as sanitary sewer discharges, in an environmentally sensitive and sustainable way, over the next five to ten years. The Plan was developed through a collaborative process with B&W, Village Council, and Village Staff.

A Plan draft was presented to the Village Council in July, 2013. Some document elements and recommendations were revised based on Council feedback received. B&W then conducted a special workshop with the Council concerning stormwater development regulations. In December, 2013, the pre-final Master Plan was brought back for final comment. B&W has more fully developed the goals, objectives, and Plan recommendations, in addition to incorporating historical documents as exhibits, since the document first became available.

A final draft of the Stormwater Master Plan was published in February, during a month-long public comment period. The final Plan document was adopted by Village Council Resolution on April 17, 2014.

Please click on the document link below to access the Master Plan. Please keep in mind this is a large document that may take several minutes to download. The referenced appendices are provided as separate document links. Complete hard copies of the Master Plan document are also available in the Village Manager’s Office on the second floor of Village Hall, the Public Works Yards on Willow Road, and at the Winnetka Library.

Stormwater Master Plan


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