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The Plumber's Wife Blog

The Plumber's Wife Blog is your source for Park's Plumbing and Sewer News, Specials, and information about Flood Control Systems.

Evanston Residential Rain Barrel Program

Friday, April 22, 2016

Residential Rain Barrel Program

The City of Evanston has partnered with the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) to offer free rain barrels and free rain barrel delivery to all eligible Evanston residential property owners. The barrels will be provided by the MWRD, but eligible Evanston property owners must submit their request through the City of Evanston (see below for application link).

Rain barrels are rainwater collection systems. They are 55-gallon drums installed outside of residences and connected to downspouts to collect storm water runoff from rooftops. Rainwater can be collected for lawn and garden watering during the hotter summer months, plant watering and car and window washing. Collecting rainwater and using it on your property decreases the amount of water that ends up in Evanston’s stormwater sewer system and the amount of water you have to purchase. Installing rain barrels can help reduced flooding while also saving you money on your water bill and conserving water.

Click on the link below to learn more information on how to get your rain barrel.

IMPORTANT Announcement for Niles Residents

Friday, February 19, 2016

We have received word that the Village of Niles is almost out of funding to assist homeowners with the installation of systems to prevent sewage back ups in basements. If you are holding off on scheduling your FREE FLOOD CONTROL estimate, we strongly encourage you to call today to schedule and take advantage of any funds that are left. 847-676-1931

Village of Broadview offers Single Family homeowners Flood Assistance

Friday, February 19, 2016

The Village of Broadview now offers a reimbursement program to Single Family homeowners to defray a portion of the costs of providing protection from back up sewage in the basement. This program will assist in offsetting the cost a homeowner incurs when installing one of the following; Overhead Sewer, Backflow Prevention Valve, Left Station and Sump Pumps. You will be reimbursed 50% of the work up to $2500.00. Please contact your village to fill out an application and get further details.

Oak Park offering a Sewer Backup Protection Grant

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Great news for all Oak Park residents that experience sewer backups!

The Village is offering a grant program for qualifying homeowners that get sewage backup in their basements during times of heavy rain.

The program's intent is to offset a portion of the expense that a homeowner will incur to modify the building's plumbing system such that sewage cannot backflow in to the building when the Village sewers are full.

Eligible homeowners may qualify for a grant of 50% of the total cost of sewer back up prevention improvements, up to a maximum of $3,500.00, to install either an Overhead Sewer System or a Backflow Prevention System.

Click the link below to download the application.

SKOKIE Residential Yard Drainage Assistance Program

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Residents of Skokie, did you know that the Village's Engineering Division offers a complimentary program to help residents address rear yard drainage issues!

At no cost to you, the village will examine the subject area and identify solutions that will help reduce ponding in the rear yard. They do not contribute to the implementation of the solutions but they will come out and start the process of identifying the problem and coming up with the best solution. Whether it be to install a catch basin, re-grade the yard or shifting downspouts, Parks' would be happy to come out and give you an estimate.

For more information about the Program, please contact the Village @ 847-933-8231 or visit to access the Residential Yard Drainage Assistance Program form.

If you have already contacted the Village and are ready to move forward with the next step, please contact our office to set up your FREE ESTIMATE!

La Grange Park Reimbursement Program

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Village of La Grange Park is pleased to announce a program to assist single-family homeowners with the cost of plumbing improvements to address sanitary sewer related backups The program is being administered on a “first come – first served” basis, and will provide 50% reimbursement of eligible sewer related costs, subject to a maximum reimbursement of $3,000 for backflow devices or $5,000 for overhead sewers. The goal of the program is to encourage homeowners to improve their quality of life and enhance property values through the reduction of sanitary sewer backups. To accomplish this goal, $50,000 has been budgeted for the period of May 1, 2015 through April 30, 2016.

For more information and application, please click on the link below.{84B8C7A6-E0D4-419A-B9AB-402A81379BFC}/uploads/SBPP_-_2015_Program_Information_FINAL.pdf

In Park Ridge it pays to be GREEN

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Great news to all of our Park Ridge residents brought to you by BONO CONSULTING, INC.!

You can now receive a rebate for being GREEN and installing a Rain Barrel!

What is a Rain Barrel?

Rain barrels collect the rainwater that runs off your roof which can be used to irrigate landscaping, wash your car or fill ponds and fountains. Rain barrels are a great way to conserve water.

Rebates are available for a limited time.

  1. Install a Rain Barrel
  2. Send in photo of it installed with a copy of your receipt
  3. Receive a $25.00 rebate from Bono Consulting *

*Limited to the first 100 Park Ridge residents, one rebate per residence.

Visit for more details or email

Real estate groups aiming to flush sewer camera bill

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Things to know for potential Home sellers and buyers

By: Dennis Rodkin

Just as more Chicago-area homeowners are seeing their property values recover from being under water, some Illinois legislators want to send all home sellers down into the sewer.

A bill introduced in the Illinois House in February would require home sellers to pay for a report on the condition of their properties' main sewer lines, with an inspection done by camera. Real estate groups are fighting the proposal, saying it will add hundreds of dollars—and in some cases, thousands of dollars—to the cost of selling a house.

The report, written by a licensed plumber, would evaluate the sewer line's likelihood of becoming clogged by tree roots, baby wipes and other obstructions, and would be added to the disclosures that state law already requires of home sellers, including the presence of radon, lead paint and termites and disputes over lot lines.

The current disclosure form requires sellers to verify that the home's plumbing is in working order. The difference is that a lot of the problems included in a standard disclosure form are visible to buyers, said the sponsor of the sewer inspection bill, state Rep. Luis Arroyo, D-Chicago.

But “without that camera that goes in and looks at 100 feet of sewer line, you're only disclosing what goes on with the toilets,” he said.

“This is to protect homeowners,” said Arroyo, a former employee of the city's Department of Water Management. “I get a lot of calls from people six months after they bought a house, saying their sewer main collapsed and they're out thousands of dollars” for the repairs. He declined to say exactly how many calls he has received.


“We get that call twice a week,” said Wally Welker, a project manager for Quality Plumbing Services, which serves the North Side and north and northwest suburbs. Welker said partial collapses or clogs often get noticed when a young family buys from an older homeowner, and immediately increases the water use on the property. The greater stress on the sewer system can result in backups or very slow drains, often the first sign of a collapse.

A home's sewer line may clog from tree roots invading through an opening or crack in the clay pipe, from baby wipes and other debris getting trapped at a break or opening in the pipeline or from complete collapse of an old clay pipe. Newer sewer lines are most often made of PVC plastic, and are more resistant to collapse.

Since Arroyo introduced the legislation Feb. 4, real estate industry groups have been asking their members to oppose it, arguing that the cost of sewer-cam inspections—which start at about $375 to $400, according to two plumbers —would be an unfair burden on low- and medium-income homeowners.

“When you're selling a $200,000 house, spending $500 more to do it is expensive,” said Phil Chiles, the immediate past president of the Illinois Association of Realtors. “People are already trying to get every penny out” after the downturn. Chiles predicted that most sellers would tack the cost of the inspection onto their list price, hoping to transfer the cost to buyers.

Sellers typically spend about 10 percent of the price on the home to cover commissions, title insurance and related costs, according to research by online real estate database Zillow.

Some sellers could end up paying for a lot more than a sewer report. If the inspection turns up signs of an imminent collapse or closure of the sewer line, sellers might be on the hook for a bill that could exceed $10,000, said Paul Fredericy, manager of Power Plumbing & Sewer Contractor in Chicago.


The bill does not specify who would pay for repair work. In an interview last week, Arroyo said he would expect the buyer and seller to “include that in their negotiation on the price.”

But a seller who receives a report saying that a sewer collapse is coming would have to decide whether to pay to have it fixed before selling, or hope a buyer comes along who's willing to pay for it.

Either way, the buyer's total cost goes up, Chiles said.

Rep. John D'Amico, D-Chicago, a cosponsor of the bill and a practicing plumber, argues that for many homes with old sewer lines, the buyer's costs will go up anyway when the line collapses at some point in the future. The legislation “takes the gamble out of it. You know if you're looking at something major with the sewer line and not getting hit with a bill unexpectedly.”

D'Amico acknowledged that the bill would generate business for plumbers: In 2014, more than 146,000 homes sold in Illinois. At $400 a pop, that would generate more than $58 million in revenue. Nevertheless, he said, “we're trying to protect the buyers.”

Welker and Fredericy both said that they often advise buyers of older homes to have a sewer-cam inspection done before signing a purchase contract. Once they've had a home inspection, Fredericy said, buyers often call a plumber to find out the cost of found defects, such as slow-draining sinks. That's when “we tell them they need to look farther, look into the sewer line.”

Welker, however, disagreed with the legislation's proposal to have sellers pay for the sewer-cam inspection. “That should be the buyer's responsibility,” he said. “They want to know what they're in for. The sellers don't pay for the home inspection, so why should they pay for the camera?”

Last week, Arroyo said he may revise the bill to split the cost of a sewer-cam between buyer and seller.

Article from:

Lenders to collect flood insurance premiums

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Below is a great article that was found in the Chicago Tribune (3/8/15)  by Lew Sichelman (United Feature Syndicate).

Starting January 2016, lenders will be required to collect escrow funds from borrowers who have flood insurance, just like they do for property taxes and hazard insurance.

Though the proposed rules won't take effect until almost a year from now, it won't hurt borrowers to start getting familiar with them so they won't be shocked when their house payments go up Jan, 1.

Under the rule, which is subject to a few changes, regulated lending institutions must escrow premiums and fees for flood coverage on loans secured by residential properties starting next year. Besides new mortgages made after that date, the rule also would apply to older loans that are increased, extended or renewed.

Also, come the first of the year, borrowers already on the books must be given the options of escrowing their flood insurance premiums if they so desire.

In a key change from previous proposals, the rule would eliminate the requirement that would have forced borrowers to obtain coverage for a structure that is a part of a residential property in a special flood hazard area if that structure is detached from the house and does not also serve as a residence. But lenders can require insurance on the detached structures if they determine that it is necessary to protect the collateral securing the mortgage.

After several false starts, the latest federal edict on escrowing for flood coverage was issued late last year by five regulatory agencies: the Federal Reserve Board, Farm Credit Administration, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., National Credit Union Administration and the Comptroller of the Currency. 

The rules implement changes required by last year's Homeowner Flood Insurance Act, which itself amended the Biggert-Waters Act of 2012.

Niles Chamber honors Parks Plumbing

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Niles Chamber of Commerce has recently honored Parks' at their Leadership and Recognition Luncheon for being a part of their Longest Standing Members. See the article by clicking the link below.