Storm Water Management

Keeping You Safe

Underground utilities are a mystery to the typical homeowner.  While many residents are not familiar with the functions of city owned storm sewers, they remain an essential element in minimizing the impacts of storms and flooding. 

Our goal is to provide for safe and efficient flow of storm water from streets and drainage easements across the city to reduce standing water and prevent flooding. This is achieved through our proactive maintenance program and prompt response during weather events affecting the city's storm drainage system.

stormwater pump


  • Cleaning and repairing catch basins/inlets
  • Repair and maintenance of city-owned storm lines
  • Cleaning, repair, and maintenance of city-owned ponds, detention and retention basins, and roadway culvert crossings
  • Flood control - operate and maintain six storm water pumping stations
  • Stream channel maintenance - Bank restoration / stabilization activities, removal of downed trees and debris from creek channels / headwalls to insure full operation of the storm water system
  • Coordination of storm water planning and maintenance activities with neighboring communities and the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago

Keeping the Systems Clean

To assure that the city's storm system operates properly, crews are assigned to clean catch basins, storm lines, and retention / detention area maintained by the city on a regular basis. In addition, it helps control odor problems that are caused by accumulation of debris.  Storm inlets are cleaned on a periodic basis across the community as conditions and seasons dictate. They are cleaned on a per-call basis when backups or problems are reported by our residents.

running water

Creek Flooding

The City of Oak Forest does not maintain creeks or streams on private property. We can only maintain creeks on public property. The City also maintains creek banks as necessary to protect city utilities.

The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago is responsible for the overall storm water management plan in our area. They have assisted the Public Works Department with creek and stream cleanup through their Small Streams program. 

National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System

The goal of the federally mandated National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Phase II program is to preserve, protect and improve the Nation's water resources from polluted storm water runoff.  NPDES Phase II is intended to reduce adverse impacts to water quality and aquatic habitat by instituting the use of controls on the unregulated sources of storm water discharges that have the greatest likelihood of causing continued environmental degradation.

NPDES Phase II requires operators of Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s) in urbanized areas to implement Best Management Practices (BMPs) defined in six minimum control measures to control polluted storm water runoff.

The City of Oak Forest falls under the MS4 classification; and therefore, submits a Notice of Intent (NOI) General Permit number ILR400408 to the Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA).  The NOI contains general information about Oak Forest as well as the BMPs to be implemented for each of the six minimum control measures that are given below:

  • Public Education and Outreach
  • Public Involvement and Participation
  • Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination
  • Construction Site Storm Water Runoff Control
  • Post-Construction Storm Water Management in New Development and Redevelopment
  • Municipal Pollution Prevention and Good Housekeeping

Contact Public Works

To report a problem to the city, contact the Public Works Department at 708-535-4090 or complete the 
online service request form.

To report an emergency after normal working hours or on holidays and weekends, call the Police Department's non-emergency line at 708-687-1376.  The on-call Public Works supervisor will be contacted.

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