Flooding & Drainage Complaints

Flooding and Drainage Complaints

Most complaints are private matters, which need to be addressed by individual homeowners or the subdivision Home Owners Association (HOA) (if maintenance responsibilities are spelled out in the covenants).  In many cases, flooding is caused by open channels that have been blocked or haven’t been maintained over many years, and as a result, low-lying property begins to flood.  While most channels along streets and other right-of-way are the responsibility of the township or highway department, channels in the rear or side yards are typically privately-owned and maintained.  In these cases, the “Illinois Drainage Act” provides the best course of action and should be consulted IL. Drainage Code  

In the IL Drainage Code; it references 'natural pathways of drainage'; and this refers to pathways created overtime by the movement of water across low lying areas. Water tends to take the path of least resistance and will eventually erode its own path. Drainage easements, ditches, man-made bioswales or man-made channels are not considered 'natural' pathways of drainage and should be maintained by the municipality or township  road or highway department jurisdiction it is in.  In some cases, IDOT may be responsible for the maintenance of these man-made channels. Natural pathways of drainage are streams, creeks, branches, and rivers that have formed over time, or have been designated by IDNR as a natural water channel. These should never be impeded or blocked so that they may allow for the proper flow of water during heavy rain events.  
Find more information about your local waterways at: USGS Stream Stats and at USGS Streamer
If you have any questions regarding these sites, please feel free to reach out to the stormwater staff.

County staff regularly receive complaints about flooding and drainage problems, especially after heavy rains events.  Upon reasonable request, staff will visit the site, review the cause of the problem, and then determine what steps, if any, can be taken.  If the issue involves right-of-way or publicly-owned and maintained improvements, staff will work with the applicable municipality or township to address the issue.  If an issue is caused by an active construction site, inspectors will address the issue with the developer or contractor. If there are issues with agricultural lands, staff may direct complainants to available resources; though agricultural lands are exempt from stormwater regulations by the county. (Stormwater Drainage and Detention and Sediment Control 114.004)

Even though the stormwater program has a limited role in addressing most issues/complaints, it’s beneficial for the stormwater staff to track the complaint so that it can be used for planning and could play a role in justifying future capital improvement projects.  

If you have a flooding or drainage complaint, please call the Stormwater Hot Line at (618) 296-7788.

Contact Information:
Marc Hohlt
Stormwater Coordinator
157 N. Main Street, Suite 254
Edwardsville, IL. 62025