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Trustees Approve Study of Lake Ellyn

The study will examine the cause of overflows from storms among other operating characteristics at Lake Ellyn.

After significant flooding in 2010 and 2008, Glen Ellyn village trustees want to take a closer look at how Lake Ellyn operates.

The study will try to determine what caused extensive flooding but it will also look at day-to-day trends and operating characteristics at Lake Ellyn.

At Monday's village board meeting, trustees voted to split the four-month study with the Glen Ellyn Park District at a cost of $51,500 for RHMG Engineers services. 

Lake Ellyn is designed to detain runoff water before it is funneled through a series of pipes to Perry's Pond and then on to the East Branch of the DuPage River.   

Due to extensive flooding, the study will examine that system and seek to answer how overflows can be controlled to ultimately better protect homeowner properties. To do that, the study will specifically examine day-to-day trends focusing on the water level and if that should vary, determine if the water capacity at the lake should be increased, and determine the flow of water into the lake and by how much.

The study will also focus on the water output from the lake. Some think that if a "gate" were opened during storms it would release water faster from the lake to prevent extensive flooding damage, which Village Engineer Bob Minix said is a common myth.

"You cannot open a valve to increase the outflow from Lake Ellyn," said Minix.

In fact, changing the output of water from Lake Ellyn to Perry's Pond is regulated by other agencies, so it will likely stay the same, but the study will see if there is any possibility for "wiggle room."  

Homeowner Joe Sinopoli has worked closely with the village because a majority of the water output runs through his property to Perry's Pond. Sinopoli said the frequency of flowing water through the channel on his property has only increased over the years and is destroying his land.

"Hopefully when you do this study you'll see that the flow is nothing like it was 20 years ago," said Sinopoli.

That is part of what the study will hope to accomplish. When the lake was last reconfigured ten years ago, it met the runoff needs based off data available at that time, according to Bill Rickert, president of RHMG Engineers.  

"What was a 100-year storm 20 years ago has changed," said Rickert.

Editor's note: The article orginally stated the board meeting was on Tuesday.  

dave August 10, 2011 at 04:37 PM
Too much rain. Surely you jest. But glen Ellyn switched from well to Lake Michigan years before. Could it be the water table of the aquafers is too high?

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