The Inspection Process

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In an effort to eliminate clear water from entering the sanitary sewer system, the Village conducts Clear Water Inspections of all Mount Prospect properties - commercial or residential. Approximately 800 inspections are performed annually.

What Happens During an Inspection?

A majority of inspections are completed by a contractor hired by the Village. However, some inspections are performed the Mount Prospect Public Works Department.

An inspection for a typical single-family home will usually be completed in less than 15 minutes. Frequently, inspections are completed in conjunction with a water meter exchange. If this is the case, an inspection and meter exchange will take about 45 minutes to complete. The inspection is completely visual. Absolutely no modifications will be made to your drainage systems during the inspections.

The inspector walks around the exterior of the house looking at the discharge points for downspouts and area drains, such as yard, patio, window well, driveway or stairwell drains. He also looks in basement areas or crawl spaces to identify clear water sump and sanitary ejector pumps that may exist and to identify their point of discharge. He will also look in the sump pit to identify the type of construction or whether exterior drains connect to the sump.

Public Works Staff and Village-employed contractors are required to show proper identification when attempting to gain entry into a home. If you have any questions about inspector identification, please call Public Works at 847/ 870-5640 Monday - Friday, 7:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. If issues arise outside of normal business hours, please contact the Police using the non-emergency number at 847/870-5656.

What is the inspector looking for?

The inspector is looking for improper connections to the sanitary sewer system. An improper connection is defined as a connection that allows for clear water to be discharged directly into the separate sanitary sewer system. Clear water should either be going to the storm sewer or allowed to soak into the ground without entering the sanitary sewer.

Specifically the inspector is looking for the following improper connections:

  • Downspouts that are directly tied to footing tiles or sumps discharging directly to the sanitary sewer and do not discharge overland. 
  • Clear water sump pumps that discharge directly to the sanitary sewer or do not discharge overland.
  • Waste water sumps that collect sanitary water and clear water from footing tiles, downspouts, etc. and discharge directly to the sanitary sewer. This is commonly known as a combination sump.
  • Clear water sumps that collect clear water and sanitary water from a slop sink/laundry tub, bathroom, etc. and discharge directly to the sanitary sewer. This is commonly known as a combination sump.
  • Diverter valves that are installed in your plumbing system that allows your sump pump to alternately discharge to the sanitary sewer or into the yard.
  • Installed Overflows. Overflows are drain lines connecting a wastewater pump and clear water sump pump. Overflows are installed to provide continued drainage in the event one of the pumps failed. However, the overflows allow for clear water to be discharged the sanitary sewer or wastewater to be discharged outside.

Where Should Water from Downspouts, Sump Pumps, or Other Drains be Directed if it Cannot be Discharged to the Sanitary Sewer?

Village ordinances call for All Sump Pumps and Downspouts to have a fitting at the ground which directs the water in accordance with the following requirements:

  • The water must be directed either toward the street abutting the property or parallel to or away from the nearest lot line.
  • The point of discharge of any downspout or sump pump shall not be more than five feet (5’) from a foundation.
  • The point of discharge of any downspout or sump pump shall not be less than five feet (5’) from any lot line.

If your property has been identified as having an improper connection, please refer to the Compliance Process page for information on correcting improper connections and additional details associated with the correction process.

How Will I be Contacted?

The Village or the Village's contractor will attempt to secure a Clear Water Elimination inspection via letter. The process is as follows:

  • An introduction letter (1st request) will be mailed requesting the resident to schedule an inspection. In most cases, the inspection will be made with the Village's contractor. The letter will identify who to call. In addition, an informational booklet detailing the Clear Water Inspection process will be included. The letter requests that an appointment be made within 10 weekdays.
  • If an appointment has not been scheduled within 10 weekdays of the first letter a second letter (2nd request) will be mailed requesting the resident to schedule an inspection. In most cases, the inspection will be made with the Village's contractor. The letter will identify who to call. The letter requests that an appointment be made within 10 weekdays.
  • If an appointment has not been scheduled within 10 weekdays of the second letter the third and final letter (3rd request) will be mailed requesting the resident to schedule an inspection. In most cases, the inspection will be made with the Village's contractor. The letter will identify who to call. The letter requests that an appointment be made within 10 weekdays.