Calumet Collaborative Training & Maintenance Workgroup

The Calumet region of Chicago experiences chronic urban flooding, resulting in property damage, polluted runoff, infrastructure stress, and community disinvestment. The Calumet Collaborative Training & Maintenance Workgroup engages in coordinated planning to improve stormwater management, helping address the negative impacts of urban flooding through green infrastructure.

The workgroup seeks to understand and meet demand for green stormwater expertise by developing and delivering curriculum for green infrastructure installation and maintenance. The workgroup has also conducted an assessment analyzing the needs for additional job training skills and strengthening green infrastructure management systems.

"Chicago Sewers" manhole cover

(University of Illinois Photo/Abigail Bobrow)

Across the urbanized Calumet region of Chicago, rainwater—rather than soaking into the ground—lands on impervious surfaces (roofs, roads, sidewalks), then drains to local waterways or to gray infrastructure (pipes, tunnels, treatment plant). Exacerbated by increased urbanization and climate change, this flow pattern creates basement backups, street flooding, combined sewer overflows into our waterways, and discharges into Lake Michigan. To reverse this condition, the workgroup engages in research and uses science-based green infrastructure design to restore the lost functioning of the landscape.


Read more about how Illinois researchers are addressing urban flooding: storied.illinois.edu/weathering-the-storms