Every lot in Calumet City was originally designed so water would flow away from the building and along property lines to the street, storm sewer, or ditch. Fences, railroad ties, landscaping and regrading block this flow. So do construction projects in the ditches or the floodplain.

  • Every piece of trash can contribute to flooding. Even grass clippings and branches can accumulate and plug channels. If your property is next to the river or a storage basin, please do your part and keep the banks clear of brush and debris.
  • DO NOT DUMP OR THROW ANYTHING INTO THE RIVER OR BASINS. Dumping in a stream or storage basin is a violation of City Code.
  • Always check with the Department of Inspectional Services before you build on, fill, alter, or regrade your property. A permit is needed to ensure that such projects do not cause problems on other properties.
  • If you see dumping or debris in the river or basins, filling or construction near property lot lines, or filling or construction in the floodplain without a permit sign posted, contact the Department of Inspectional Services at 891-8120. The debris or project may cause flooding on your property.

New buildings in the floodplain (the A Zone depicted on map) must be protected from flood damage. Our building code requires that new residential buildings must be elevated one foot above the base flood level.

The ordinance also requires that all substantial improvements to a building be treated as a new building. A substantial improvement is when the value of an addition, alteration, repair or reconstruction project exceeds 50% of the value of the existing building. In the case of an addition, only the addition must be protected. In the case of an improvement to the original building, the entire building must be protected.

For example, if a house in the floodplain is flooded, has a fire, is hit by a tornado, or is otherwise damaged so that the cost of repairs is more than 50% of the value of the building before the damage, then the house must be elevated above the base flood level. This is explained in more detail in FEMA’s book Repairs, Remodeling, Additions, and Retrofitting. Contact Inspectional Services for additional information regarding substantial improvements.

These regulations are designed to protect you and your neighbors. By keeping the drainage system clear and getting the proper permits before you build, we can prevent flooding and other drainage problems.