Private Property Drainage Assistance

Program Contact

Jennifer Phillips, Director of Neighborhood Services                                                                             Email:                                                                                                           Phone: 847-931-5933

About the Program

Each year the City receives an average of 65 code compliance cases related to drainage, sump pumps or ponding of water on private property. This program provides homeowner with funding to resolve, or largely mitigate drainage problems on their property. This program’s primary purpose is to address long-standing, drainage issues that are contributing to code violations, property damage and affecting multiple properties (neighbors). 

Priority is given to projects where the following is demonstrated:

  • Documented evidence of standing water at least 72 hours after a rain event.
  • Drainage/standing water cause direct damage to structures or home drainage. 
  • The proposed project has the ability to substantially improve the issue.
  • The proposed project will assist in compliance with City regulations and benefit more than one property. 

Eligible Project Types 

Ineligible Project Types or Properties 

  • Rain gardens 
  • Dry wells 
  • Drain tile 
  • Sump pump connections to an approved storm sewer connection point 
  • Re-grading 
  • Other projects not listed are subject to the approval by City staff
  • New construction or remodeling that requires storm water control measures 
  • “Blind” connections to City storm sewer 
  • Multiple installation at one property (one-time participation only) 
  • Maintenance and repair of existing storm sewer systems 
  • Connecting downspouts to City sewers 
  • Properties owned by parties with code violations in the past twelve months, unpaid fees, fines or past due accounts with the City 
  • Pop-up emitters onto public rights-of-way 

Program Timeline

  1. Upon receipt of all necessary application documents city staff will review the issue, proposed improvement and determine eligibility in the program. 
  2. A determination of eligibility will be made within 14 calendar days after the application is completed.
  3. If eligible for the program, applicants will be asked to enter into a reimbursement agreement with the City of Elgin. 
  4. The homeowner then has 60 days after the date of the signed agreement to complete the work and submit all payment documentation to the City. 
  5. After review of all documents, the City will reimburse the resident 50 percent of labor and material costs, up to $5,000 per project. If a resident chooses to install the improvement themselves without using a contractor, the resident is still required to secure the necessary permits and approvals from the City. Upon approval by staff, the City will reimburse 50 percent of the cost of materials only, up to $3,000 maximum. If a rain garden is built the City will match 75 percent of project costs with the same match ceilings. 

SWAN Residents

Almost 10 years ago, a number of SWAN homeowners participated in a program to install a parkway rain garden at their property. To date, these rain gardens are one of the largest green infrastructure projects installed in Elgin. 

To revitalize the parkway rain gardens from this initial project, three options are available:

Option 1: Lowest Maintenance Option

Restore with one to three native grass or sedge species. Will require the least amount of maintenance but still provide beauty, stormwater and water quality benefits.

Option 2: Medium Maintenance Option

Restore the rain gardens using some flowering plants with grasses or sedges. Requires mid-level maintenance with benefits for insects and pollinators, and water quality.

Option 3: Highest Maintenance Option

Restore the rain gardens based upon their original planting plan subject to plant availability and latest best practices. Includes a variety of plants with different bloom schedules and colors to attract insects and pollinators.

Contact Kristin Youngmeyer by email ( or phone (847-931-5615) if you are interested in participating in this program.

The Kane County Wild Ones are partnering on this project, with their initiative Start in Your Yard and their CREW program (Captivated, Eager and Ready to Weed). If you are interested in volunteering your time during one or multiple workdays to remove weeds or install plants, please visit the CREW sign-up page and submit a form.