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Current Events and Meetings


March, 2016


Director Injerd convened a quarterly meeting of the State Water Plan Task Force, attended a Council of Great Lakes Governors meeting to discuss Great Lakes organizations in Grand Rapids, MI, met with the Cook County Director of Environmental Control to discuss their water resource sustainability initiatives and continued review of the Waukesha, WI diversion request that is pending before the Compact Council.  IL will need to cast a vote on this proposal along with the other Great Lakes states.


Hickory and Spring Creek Flood Control Project – The design for the stream mitigation project for Hadley Valley with the Forest Preserve District of Will County has begun. The entire mitigation plan for Hadley Valley and Pilcher Park Dam must be submitted to receive the 404 permit.  


OWR will be giving several presentations during the IAFSM conference on Illinois Flood Risk Management, presenting the recommendations from the Urban Flooding Report and presenting the  Alexander County Flood Preparedness Plan at the Floodplain Manager’s Conference and Floodplain Management / Mitigation. A presentation on the HUD National Disaster Resilience Competition  presentation will discuss the collaborating efforts to create a culture shift toward resilience disaster recovery in Illinois during the Competition and on State and local partnerships associated with the HUD National Disaster Resiliency Competition on March 9th .  


Regulatory Programs met with the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority and their engineers to discuss floodway permitting requirements for improvements to the central portion of the Tri-State Tollway (I-294).


Illinois Flood Risk Management Team – Preparation of the Alexander County Flood Preparedness Plan continues.  Alexander County Flood Preparedness Plan – Cairo levee breach scenarios from the Ohio River were mapped and satellite imagery from the January breach of Len Small Levee was georeferenced.    


Dieterich – Finalization of Project Report is ongoing.


Stratton Dam Operations presented Stratton operations to Lake County’s new employees during their flood response duties discussion. Site staff is providing technical advice during the extension of the lock and collecting meteorological data (rain, wind, temperature and snow) for the National Weather Service twice a day.  The Stratton crew is tuning up and repairing lawn mowers and trimmers and repairing buoys and lights.


The stream maintenance crew is performing maintenance on equipment and repairing buoys and lights.


Analysis on impacts from the December - January flood event to add and/or update the various flood damages in the flood book continues.


Survey work continues on the channel cross section job in Fairfield, IL. A level line was completed around the Lake Sangchris area.  The survey crew returned to the Nippersink Creek cross section job that started before the first of the year.  


Two permits were given. Five permit violations are being dealt with.



February, 2016


Waukesha Application for Lake Michigan Water Diversion. Under the “Great Lakes Compact” and the companion Agreement, diversions of water from the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin (Basin) to areas outside the Basin are banned with limited exceptions. The City of Waukesha, Wisconsin, is a community in a county that straddles the Basin divide and has applied for such an exception. The City proposes to divert up to 10.1 million gallons per day of Basin water, based on a projected average daily demand. The Regional Body and Compact Council have begun a review of the application. Under the Agreement that Declaration of Finding may be a denial, an approval, or an approval with conditions. The Governors’ Compact Council will consider the Regional Body’s Declaration and then issue the final decision on the application. If all members of the Governors’ Compact Council vote to approve or approve with conditions, the State of Wisconsin can then proceed with its regulatory decision making and permitting as appropriate. If there is a dissenting vote, then the application cannot move forward. Public comment and participation will be important in the decision making process. Additional information is available at . 
Comments can be submitted on and after January 12, 2016 through March 14, 2016 to both the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Water Resources Regional Body and Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Council by the following methods:
• By mail, at 20 N. Wacker Drive, Suite 2700, Chicago, Illinois, 60606
• By email at
• At the public hearing on February 18, 2016 beginning no sooner than 3:00 p.m. CST at Carroll University in Waukesha, Wisconsin 

Notice expires March 14, 2016. 


Director Injerd attended a meeting of the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee in Chicago on 2/9 Tuesday. He met with representatives of a group known as Breakwater Chicago, LLC, that is seeking permission to locate a large floating barge/restaurant/nightclub offshore in Lake Michigan in front of Navy Pier/Water Filtration Plant.


Town Brook Jacksonville – Preparation of structure damage assessment has begun. 


Review of the Wabash River and tributaries hydraulic modeling from the Louisville Corps has started.


Illinois Flood Risk Management Team – A meeting of the team preparing the Alexander County Flood Preparedness Plan was held meeting on February 3 in Cairo. The Len Small Levee District will be responsible for 20% of the repair costs of the levee while the Corps of Engineers will pay 80% of the repair costs under the PL84-99 program.


Hickory and Spring Creek Flood Control Project – The design for the stream mitigation project for Hadley Valley with the Forest Preserve District of Will County has begun.    


Urban Flood Awareness Act – Urban Flooding report recommendations was presented to the South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association on 2/3/16.  


Stratton Dam – The HEC ResSIM model for Stratton gate operations is being tested.  Site staff is providing technical advice during the extension of the lock and collecting meteorological data (rain, wind, temperature and snow) for the National Weather Service twice a day. 


Survey crew is beginning the reconnaissance of the channel cross section job coming up in Fairfield, IL. 


Three individual permits were issued between February 1, 2016 and February 5, 2016. 


Staff attended and presented at FEMA’s urban flooding seminar for Cook county Communities on February 3rd at the South Suburban Mayors and Managers office in East Hazel Crest, Illinois.



January, 2016 


Met with the Ontario Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry and the Canadian Consul General in Chicago to discuss Asian Carp and Great Lakes water issues (Wed, 1/6).  Attended a meeting of the Corps of Engineers Executive Steering Committee for the Brandon Road Lock and Dam Study (Wed, 1/13). The application for a Lake Michigan diversion to the City of Waukesha has been received and a technical review is underway.


Nine Permits given. Several outstanding permit violations responded to.


A meeting of the team preparing the Alexander County Flood Preparedness Plan is scheduled for February 3 in Cairo.  The team will be discussing what information needs to be placed in the plan and the unmet needs from the New Year’s Day breach of the Len Small Levee.


A meeting was held in the City of Jacksonville with Alderwoman Lori Oldenettel. The work for the flood damage reduction study was given including a preliminary flood inundation mapping.   Preparation of structure damage assessment has begun.  


Completed review and approval on January 25, 2016 of the restudy of Mill Creek in Lake County, Illinois. 


The Division of Resource Management authored 2 articles on the legality of flood fighting and on IDNR/OWR policies related to post disaster measures and submitted to the editor of the IAFSM CURRENT newsletter for publication in the spring 2016 Newsletter.


Met with local officials of the Godley Public Water District to discuss their regional water supply plans. 


In response to public complaints received by the Office of Water Resources, the Division of Resource Management developed a policy to clarify the regulations related to the temporary stockpiling of snow (materials) in a designated floodway.   Temporary stockpiling of snow resulting from the normal winter operation and maintenance of a roadway, parking lot or driveway in the floodway does not require authorization from the Department.  However, temporary stockpiling of snow (material) in the floodway that has been trucked or otherwise transported into the floodway from areas outside of the immediate floodway is not permitted without prior authorization from the Department.


Multiple Cache River studies have been reviewed as an initial step of the Cache River Reconnection Study process.


Len Small Levee repair is being investigated.  The PL84-99 program will make the levee repairs but the Levee District will need to provide 20% of the cost.  


Approved Ashland hydrologic and hydraulic modeling associated with eventual FEMA mapping requests.


Continued coordination with FEMA on Risk Map activities and preliminary flood hazard work maps for the Metro-East St. Louis area communities.


The design for the stream mitigation project for Hadley Valley with the Forest Preserve District of Will County has begun.  The Stream Mitigation Plan is needed to receive the 404 permit from the Corps of Engineers.


OWR survey staff is collecting survey/cross section information on Nippersink Creek from the mouth at the Fox Chain of Lakes – upstream approx. 10 miles to the town of Woodstock.  The survey crew is also beginning the process of setting control and level lines for a first floor/structure survey (FEMA request) around Poplar Creek - a tributary in Cook County to the Fox River.


Review of the Wabash River and tributaries hydraulic modeling from the Louisville Corps has started.


Streamgaging – Performed download and quality control of following stream gages:  Rock River - Dixon; Fox River - Geneva;  Fox River Watershed – Sandwich; Farmers Creek - DesPlaines;  Iroquois River - Watseka.


There appears to be a couple of ice jams on the Kankakee River at Wilmington and the Rock River at Dixon.  No flood updates were issued to IEMA’s State Emergency Operation Center last week.


Changes in flood storage within Mt. Prospect are being calculated from LiDAR for Resource Management Flood Insurance Program. 


Resource Management staff helped address Dam Safety Program related issues and Flood Hazard Mitigation Program related issues during the recent heavy rainfall and flooding conditions.


Major flooding has been occurring on the Sangamon, Illinois, and Mississippi Rivers following heavy rain on December 26 & 27.  Flood updates have been issued twice daily to IEMA’s State Emergency Operation Center.  Assistance was given to the SEOC on all flooding impacts and overtopping of the Len Small Levee in Alexander County. 


Analysis on impacts from the December - January flood event to add and/or update the various flood damages in the flood book continues.  A survey request for high water marks in Frederick and Browning was submitted.


December, 2015


One Permit given. Several outstanding permit violations responded to.


Town Brook Jacksonville HEC-RAS model development is ongoing for Town Brook and Mauvaisse Terre. The design storms are being added to the model.


Evacuation route planning continues for a hypothetical breach in the Cairo levee system.


Discussions and information gathering concerning Fairfield flooding problem are obtained.


Streamgaging quality control performed at Rock River Dixon. Serviced crest stage gages for Hayes Branch at Tuscola.


Stratton Dam flood status updates were sent out on December 14 and 18th. A meeting with the USGS was held for the new Fox Chain O'Lakes ResSim model, which will be used for operations of the gates at Stratton and Algonquin Dams on the Fox River. Site staff is providing technical advice during the extension of the lock and collecting meteorilogical data for the National Weather Service twice a day.


Approved new discharges on the Wabash River in Illinois and Indiana for remapping purposes and notified Indiana DNR of the approvals.



November, 2015


Participated in the ribbon cutting for the completion of the connection of the Thorn Creek and Old Plank Trail system in Chicago Heights.


A presentation on the recommendations from the Urban Flooding Report was given at the Governor’s Illinois River Conference.


Dan Injerd, Jim Casey and Loren Wobig met with the Alliance for the Great Lakes to discuss shore protection projects in Lake Michigan.
Jim Casey met with James Chuck Price and the Army Corps of Engineers to discuss the operation of a proposed seaplane terminal in Lake Michigan in the vicinity of Navy Pier in the City of Chicago.

Jim Casey participated in the bi-annual meeting of the Great Lakes Dredging Team.


HEC-RAS model development continues for Town Brook and Mauvaise Terre in Jacksonville.


A report about the Roanoke project that is required for the legislative filing and a PBC for the State of Illinois’s participation in the buyout portion of the project were completed.


OWR has been working with the Corps of Engineers FLO-2D model to extract the time series hydraulic information from the breach analysis of the Cairo Levee System.  The Plan will recommend evacuation procedures and identify flooding on critical infrastructure.


OWR survey staff report are near completion of field collection of first floor elevation data for structures in and around the Rockford / Winnebago County area.  Field data is being calculated and entered into spreadsheets for transfer to ISWS as it comes in.


River levels across the state remain below flood stage, as most rivers are in the normal range for this time of year. Some of the smaller streams in central and southern Illinois are starting to rise above the normal range as a storm system currently moves through.  Southern Illinois has received approximately 1-1.5” of precipitation over the past 24 hours and central Illinois has received ½”- ¾”.  More rain is expected today, with most of the state receiving 1-1.5” of rain and western Illinois receiving 2”.  After today there are minor amounts of precipitation for the rest of the week.


Winter drawdown of the Chain of Lakes is progressing on schedule.  Rainfall this week may delay the drawdown.  The drawdown creates storage for the spring snowmelt and rainfall events.


Stream maintenance crew assisted Yorkville in the removal of their buoys.  This week the crew will perform maintenance at the Havana site.


The Winnetka Dam Removal project contractor has removed the entire concrete cap and 46 pieces of sheet pile as of Monday.  It is anticipated that the east bank sheet pile will be removed this week which will complete the sheet pile removal.  According to the project specifications, the Contractor shall complete the work by November 30, 2015.


1 permit was issued.




October, 2015 


Stratton Lock had 13,313 boats lock through to date, 513 in this month so far. In October the lock is open from 8 AM to 8 PM and is closed for the winter November through April. October 31st is the last day to use the lock in 2015. Winter drawdown begins November 1st and is targetted to be complete by December 1st before ice cover is formed.


A final hearing on the petition to modify the discretionary diversion allocation to the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago took place. A Hearing on Aqua Illinois' request for a Lake Michigan Water Allocation, for the North Main Water System was held at the Chicago Office. The North Main Water System is located in unincorporated Cook County near the Village of Glenview. The 2015 Lake Michigan Water Rate Survey has been sent out and the Water Year 2015 Lake Michigan Water Audit Form (LMO-2) was sent out on October 8, 2015.  This is an annual form completed by all Lake Michigan Water Allocation Permittees. This year’s LMO-2 has been revised to reflect the November 2014, changes to the Department’s Part 3704 Rules and will require all permittees to complete the American Water Works Association’s Water Loss Audit Software. OWR made a presentation to the Illinois SectionAWWA Annual Regulatory Conference on implementation of Lake Michigan water allocation rules.


The Roanoke Project is being presented as Illinois’ sample project in HUD Resiliency Phase 2 Application and Funders Summit in Washington DC. An updated Benefit/Cost Analysis and associated attachments were submitted for inclusion in to the overall State of Illinois package. The State of Illinois draft application was posted on the DCEO website for the 15-day public comment period on October 9, 2015. The State of Illinois public hearing for their National Disaster Resiliency Competition application was held on October 14, 2015 at DCEO.


Recommendations from the Urban Flood Awareness Act study were presented to the Illinois Society of Professional Engineers. The State Model Local Ordinance is on the IDNR website.


OWR Survey Staff are continuing to collect first floor elevation data for structures in and around the Rockford / Winnebago County area. Field data is being entered into spreadsheets for transfer to ISWS. Streamgaging staff performed download and quality control of following stream gages:  Fox River-Geneva, Lake Michigan – Waukegan, Spring Creek Watershed – Berlin, and Iroquois River – Watseka. The stream maintenance crew will begin removing buoys and signs for the season at Oglesby, Quad Cities, Rock Falls, and the Kankakee and Fox Rivers.


OWR staff participated in the monthly advisory meeting with ISGS and federal agencies. Twelve counties will remain without LiDAR after the 2015 acquisition period ends. It is estimated to take 2.5 to 3 years to complete these counties by maintaining past funding.


OWR staff gave presentations on Permit Application Fees and the removal of Dams 1 and 2 on  to the Illinois Society of Professional Engineers (ISPE) .


OWR staff will attend the Governor's confeence on the Management ofthe Illinois River System and give a presentation on the results of the Urban Flood Awareness Act.


The Winnetka Dam Removal received board approval to proceed with construction. OWR is providing Resident Engineering services for this Dam Removal Project which will begin October 26th.  According to the project specifications, the Contractor shall complete the work by November 30, 2015.


Permit applications for Dempster Dam will be sent to the permit agencies in the next week.


OWR staff will be participating in levee inspection at Beardstown along with the Rock Island Corps of Engineers, and an inspection of Cricket Creek flood control facility with the DuPage County Forest Preserve and the City of Addison.


Eight permits were granted this month.


Public notices were issued for shore protection projects in Winnetka and Evanston. 



September, 2015


Stratton Lock had 12,800 boats lock through to date. 2473 this month. Site staff are assisting the National Weather Service by providing meteorological data twice a day.


OWR attended meetings with the State Water Survey, Lake County Stormwater Management Commission, State Water Plan Task Force, Rend Lake Conservancy District, City of Ottawa, Illinois Potable Water Supply Operators, Aqua Illinois, the 10th Advisory Meeting on ISGS Geologic Mapping and the Rock Island Corps of Engineers.


Work continues on the National Disaster Resilience Competition application.


An agreement between Douglas County and IDNR concerning water supply from the Kaskaskia River has been fully executed.


The Des Plaines River and East Branch DuPage River rose up to flood stage, causing minor flooding of low lying ground in northern Illinois. Heavy rain filled the Fox River and Chain of Lakes but no flooding of structures occurred.


18 permits granted this month.


The stream maintenance crew performed work at the Havana facility, Crisenberry Dam and Edgar Lakes Pump Station, including road repair and removal of vegetation and weeds.


Streamgaging work performed at Dixon, Oswego and Naperville.


Work on projects in Chicago, Roanoke, Rockford, Jacksonville, Cairo, Dieterich, Alexander County and Winnebago County are ongoing.


The USACE in Kansas City has developed automated processes to incorporate OWR GIS data from levee surveys and LiDAR-derived levee data into the National Levee Database.




August, 2015



OWR Director Injerd participated in the ribbon cutting ceremony for Levee 37 on August 31st. Levee 37 is part of the Des Plaines River Phase I study. IDNR was the non-federal cost sponsor for the overall study, and has expended approximately $16 million to date. Director Injerd also attended a meeting of the Chicago Area Waterway System Advisory Committee (Wed, 8/26).  This group has been seeking to develop a consensus plan for moving forward with additional measures to prevent Asian Carp migrating into the Great Lakes.


OWR hosted a Resiliency Academy as part of the HUD NRCS grant competition and attended a public meeting in Roanoke to determine a recommended Resiliency Plan. The State's application plan has dropped to 6 target areas, combining some and reducing others. Another meeting is scheduled for August 25th in Chicago. Resource Management staff attended a NE Illinois Resiliency Partnership meeting on August 25th to discuss continued collaboration on the HUD NDRC competitive grant application.


The Chicago Office sent out an email to all its Lake Michigan Water Allocation permittees notifying them of upcoming free seminars on the American Water Works Association’s Water Loss Audit software.  This software will be needed, starting this year, to fill out the Department’s revised Annual Water Use Form  (LMO-2).


State model stormwater ordinance review expected to be complete by August 31.


Illinois Flood Risk Management team continues acquiring levee data across the State and coordinating with National Levee Database.


Stratton Lock had 10,327 boats lock through this season to date, 367 last week which is below average for this time of year. Suspension of the contractor's work at the lock and dam began June 30, 2015 due to lack of re-appropriation in an enacted bill and is ongoing, resulting in longer lock times. Robert Cawthorne has posted a video of the Lock and Dam on Vimeo.


Maintenance continued at Algonquin Dam, Stratton Dam, and Crissenberry Dam while construction work at various dams has been suspended pending re-appropriations. A Corps of Engineers 404 permit was issued for Danville Dam. As part of the Ellsworth Park Dam Removal Incidental Taking Authorization, the IDNR and INHS coordinated 23 biologists to relocate mussels in the project area of the dam removal on Friday, August 28th.  Approximately 75 live mussels were collected and relocated upstream.  No listed threatened or endangered species were found. 


Flood inspections at community of Fall Creek to investigate causes for recent flooding.


Water table installed for State Fair in Conservation World Discovery Tent.


Twenty Four permits granted.


Busse Woods Dam Modification dedication ceremony was attended by OWR Director.


A presentation to Lake County SMC has been scheduled for late September.


A meeting to discuss the aquifer in the Joliet and Yorkville area has been set for October.


The Annual Streamgage Network Cooperator's meeting was held and a presentation on Lake DePeu was given.


OWR assisted the Hickory Creek Watershed Association and the Spring Creek Restoration Project in Will County.


Work on projects in Ashland, Dieterich, Dwight, Watseka, Hillsboro, Danville, Des Plaines, Springfield, Joliet, Jacksonville, Dixon, Morris, Geneseo, Utica, Rockford and others are ongoing.