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3505 N. Dries Lane   •   309.494.8800

Old Pipes, Big Danger

Outdated, decaying pipes pose a threat to public safety.

An ever-growing backlog of stormwater projects — erosion, failing culverts and blocked inlets — threatens to worsen into expensive, potentially risky emergencies. By making positive changes now, we can stop responding to these issues reactively and become proactive in protecting our river and the health of our community.

Top 4 Stormwater Complaints

Peoria’s Public Works Department tracks citizen calls regarding wet-weather issues. Since June 2014, we’ve fielded 1,250 service requests for drainage-related problems. Here are the top five issues:


Storm Sewer Structural Failure

such as pipe failures; deteriorated/partially collapsed pipes; sinkholes.


Channel and Ravine Erosion

mostly on private property.


Erosion at Storm Sewer Outlets

including erosion at outfalls causing pipes to fail; ditch erosion.


Street/Area Flooding

including partially blocked inlets  and culverts.

Waterlogged & Backlogged

Water runs downhill, and we’re fighting an uphill battle. At present, stormwater funding comes primarily from the city’s General Fund or Sewer Fund. Due to budget constraints and ongoing development, we haven’t been able to keep up with the sheer scale of repairs, maintenance and upgrades needed. Stormwater projects keep coming, and we need to tackle them before they get out of hand.


A Citywide Problem

As of 2017, our backlog of stormwater-related problems included 19 high-severity projects located across the city. These are issues that put public safety at risk, due to the potential for sinkholes, collapsing pipes or structure flooding. Here are just a few examples:


DISTRICT 2: 417 W Florence Ave

Concrete wall reinforced with rebar is deteriorating along a creek that leads to a culvert. The wall extends a few blocks and is right up against the property lines of houses on either sides of the walls. The wall extends a few blocks and is adjacent to properties on either side.


DISTRICT 3: E Oak Cliff Ct

The two large pipes under the road have started to rust away, which is costly to the integrity of the pipes. The side rails that are protecting the road will be caving in due to soil around the pipes eroding.


DISTRICT 4: 2910 W Winterberry Ln

The pipe for this outfall is disconnected from the headwall. There is erosion around the headwall, which will lead to the headwall falling further into the creek. The concrete headwall could block the creek in the future if it isn’t addressed.

Know Your Infrastructure



A long, gently sloping depression or ditch planted with vegetation, bioswales slow and filter water using plants’ roots.



Small but mighty creeks play an important role. Creeks recharge groundwater, reduce erosion and even mitigate damage from floods.


Pipes and Culverts

Pipes and culverts convey stormwater throughout Peoria. In fact, Peoria has over 150 miles of storm sewer! Pipes and culverts do wear down over time and must be replaced.


Ponds and Lakes

Ponds and lakes slow stormwater runoff, as both can collect and store water. Ponds and Lakes also allow stormwater to be reused.


Curbs and Gutters

Often overlooked, curbs and gutters are crucial in the collection and transportation of runoff to storm sewer pipes. Clogged curbs and gutters can lead to street flooding.


Inlets and Manholes

Inlets and man holes are building blocks for the storm sewer. Inlets guide water into the pipes. And manholes provide access for inspections, maintenance and more.


Rain Garden

A designed, depressed area with native plants, a rain garden can absorb stormwater and add beauty.