Although we are now located in Skokie, we started our operation on the northwest side of Chicago. In the early 1980s, we had our original shop close to the intersection of Milwaukee and Devon in Chicago, and Joe would often use his Edgebrook home office to work on projects, or ways to improve our business. We provide flood control, flood prevention solutions, flood control systems, and yard drainage systems to the residents of Chicago as well as plumbing services to the North and Northwest side of the city.
Chicago is the most populous city in Illinois, with almost 3 million residents and is the third largest city in the United States. Chicago’s first permanent resident was a trader named Jean Baptiste Point du Sable, a free black man apparently from Haiti, who came here in the late 1770s. In 1795, the U.S. government built Fort Dearborn at what is now the corner of Michigan Avenue and Wacker Drive (look for the bronze markers in the pavement). It was burned to the ground by Native Americans in 1812, rebuilt and demolished in 1857.
However, big and beautiful Chicago is, it also has had its share of plumbing and sewer problems for a long time. In the 1800s, one of the the biggest problems the city faced was the disposal of its waste water and sewage. At the time some of the waste water simply ended up in Lake Michigan, which - as it was later proved - posed a danger to human health and the environment. A partial solution to the problem was the reversal of the Chicago River, which in connection with other measures drastically changed things for the better.
As the city grew in the 20th century, a lot of new residential areas were built with a combined sewer system. That means the waste water from a residence as well as rain water runoff would mix in one combined sewer pipe and then would be transported to sewer mains or a treatment facility. At the time of its construction, the combined sewer system was sufficient in taking care of the city sewer needs, but nowadays it gets often overloaded during torrential rains or just heavy downpours, resulting in many flooded basements throughout the entire city. It is now not only recommended to disconnect or 'splash the downspouts' (thus minimizing the additional water that goes into the combined sewer system, and to reduce the amount of water in the municipal sewer system), but also advised that a functional flood control system be installed to stop the backflow of sewage into the residence basement. We - as a company that have roots in the flood control business - have hundreds of Parks' Double Guard Flood Control Systems in the city of Chicago, so please let us know if you need any help with flooding. As part of the flood control project we also perform a free video inspection of the house drain line outside the home with the city of Chicago representative to check its condition.
Chicago is also a unique city because of its Deep Tunnel Project. It is partially completed and does not function in its full capacity yet, but it has helped tremendously in the recent years as it has provided for storage of millions of gallons of water during heavy rains.
There is a new kind of storm hitting Chicago in recent years—heavy rains that can be very local, very intense and hard to predict. They dump 2 inches or more per hour on a given neighborhood. This volume quickly overwhelms local sewers, which were not designed for such intense rainfall. Sewer mains fill up, and additional water pushes into basements through our private drains.
There are two main sources for this additional rainfall. The first is catch basins (CB’s) in the street. These are the grated drains by the curbs that feed the main sewer through lateral pipes.
The second is water from rooftops. As much as 500 gallons of water can fall on the average residential rooftop. In the old days, City code required that gutter downspouts be connected to private drains (PD’s) that carry domestic water to sewers. This was fine for normal, old fashioned rains. But, when sewers are full, the water has nowhere to go but your basement. In essence, we are flooding ourselves.
At this time we are not aware of any rebate programs in the city of Chicago.
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