About 40 years ago, the Tunnel and Reservoir Plan, commonly known as the Deep Tunnel Project, was commissioned and began construction in Chicago. The idea was to create a massive network of four giant pipelines that would collect sewage overflow and excess storm water from heavy rainfall in order to prevent basement flooding and contamination in the Chicago River and Lake Michigan. While it has been successful to some extent, the project remains just 43% complete at the time of this writing, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
With estimates suggesting that the entire project won’t be completed for at least another 14 years, it’s important for local residents to protect themselves from potential disaster by engaging in basement waterproofing and foundation repair services before it’s too late.
As the Sun-Times piece goes on to point out, even with almost half of the project completed many parts of the city and surrounding suburbs still get hit by raw sewage and overflow when big storms hit. It’s well-known that many of the areas water and sewer systems are somewhat antiquated, which only exasperates the problem and results in homeowners having to pump out their wet basements.
Floods are the number one disaster in America, averaging over $3 billion in claims per year, according to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Even though Chicago hasn’t experienced a full-fledged flood in some time, many areas have seen large amounts of rainfall that have resulted in the need for basement waterproofing.
State records indicate that insurers paid more than $647 million to settle 72,864 flood claims filed by Cook County homeowners and businesses during the seven year span that ended in 2013, according to data the Illinois Department of Insurance has gathered. Water damage accounted for 26.4% of all insurance loss claims overall in the U.S in 2013.
The local government has experienced similar activity. The City of Chicago has received approximately 102,308 complaints about flooded basements in homes and businesses since 2005.
If the Deep Tunnel Project was completed it would certainly help alleviate most, if not all of the major flood concerns in the area, but unfortunately it remains to be seen just how long that will take. The Alliance for the Great Lakes advocacy group reported that the project should have been done in 2005.
Even when (if?) it eventually is completed, quality basement waterproofing is still a sound investment as almost all (over 98%) of homes with basements will experience some type of water damage.