As part of an ongoing plan to improve drainage throughout Locust Lake Village as well as the condition of our roads, we will on a regular basis check the swales (ditches) located beside the roads along the front of many properties. We will also check drainpipes under driveways to make sure they are intact and in proper operating condition.
Our overall goal is to keep both swales and drainage pipes free of debris (such as leaves, rocks, branches, and limbs) so that effective drainage is maintained year-round throughout the Village.
However, under the Rules and Regulations of LLV (see page 28) property owners are responsible for the clearing and maintenance of drainage pipes and ditches surrounding their properties. Leaves and debris must not be blown or placed into ditches. A property owner in violation of this regulation will be fined.
Left unattended, swales and drainage pipes can back up not just on one property but onto other properties along that swale or ditch and threaten existing structures with the possibility of extensive and expensive damage.
What can be done?
As of June 1, 2022, we will inspect drainage throughout the Village. There are three options from which you can choose to meet your obligation to keep swales and drainage pipes free of debris:
- Regularly free your swale or drainage pipe of debris before a disaster happens. Or contact LLV to arrange for Maintenance to clean out the swale and/or drainage pipe for a fee based on the amount of labor needed.
- Contract with a local landscaper or land maintenance business to remove debris perhaps on a seasonal basis.
- Should a swale or drainage pipe on your property not be cleaned, the Village will dispatch Maintenance to do the job and you will be billed and fined.
Keep in mind that in municipality similar maintenance projects are done without choice, with little or no advance notice, and a bill promptly sent to the property owner.
Where we stand.
In order to remediate the problems that clogged swales and drainage pipes cause and to save property owners the added cost and expense of damage from this situation, we respectfully request your cooperation.
Should the swale or drainage pipe across your property remain clogged after June 1st, 2022, the Village will notify you. If action is not taken within 14 days to address the problem, the Village will be forced to clean the swale and/or drainage pipe and bill you for the work, and a fine imposed as well. The fee for work will be $200.00 and the fine will be $100.00 (first offense).
The intention is to keep owners’ property intact and free from flooding by controlling drainage and helping to preserve our roads.
Stephen Pace, Roads Committee Chair
Swale, ditch, trench: The narrow strip in front of a property that has been dug out to permit stormwater or snow melt to flow past and away from a property.
Culvert, pipe, drainage pipe: The round tube-like metal or PVC that guides stormwater or snow melt under a property’s driveway from a swale.
Debris: Leaves, rocks, branches, limbs, or refuse that ends up creating obstacles to the flow of stormwater or snow melt through a swale.
HOW TO REMOVE DEBRIS
Use of a rake or shovel to free a swale of leaves and debris. The debris should either be removed from the swale and disposed or pulled back onto the property side so that the weather does not sweep the debris back into the swale. The debris should be disposed of at LLV’s compost yard as soon as possible.
Fishing waders are ideal for cleaning a swale. Waterproof boots are another option, but waders are the best option.
A property owner should keep a constant watch on the condition of a swale. Prime watch times are:
- Just after a rain, snow, or windstorm
- During changes of seasons: fall into winter; winter into spring
It’s a good idea to check the condition of a swale at least once-a-week. If you are out of the Village for an extended period of time, contact the administration office to arrange for a swale check and cleaning or contact a local landscaper to maintain your swale while you are away.