Cypress Basin in Arlington Heights Gets First Real World Flooding Mitigation Job the Past Few Days

Cypress Basin looks like a bay and the strip mall lights in the background look like harbor lights
Cypress Basin looks like a bay and the strip mall lights in the background look like harbor lights.

The Cypress Basin tested well in its first real world flooding mitigation event the past few days as over 6 inches of rainfall hit Arlington Heights. The worst of the rain in Arlington Heights was possibly south of Rand Road, so its a blessing that the Cypress Basin was completed. The Cypress Basin or Cypress Detention Basin Project at Cypress Street and Arlington Heights Road on the south side of Arlington Heights was less than half filled with water Sunday night about 10:00 p.m.

Jeff Musinski, Utilities Superintendent at Village of Arlington Heights, was out late Sunday May 17, 2020 inspecting the Cypress Basin after a long day of earlier inspections. Musinski was gathering information to determine any fine tuning that might need to be done.

Cypress Basin inlet near the intersection of Cypress Street and Dunton Avenue
Cypress Basin inlet near the intersection of Cypress Street and Dunton Avenue in Arlington Heights.

The inlet at the southwest corner of the Cypress Basin was calm on the surface Sunday night. Earlier it was the scene of visible rushing water into the basin. There is a large water junction beneath the intersection of Dunton Avenue and Cypress Street, just southwest of the inlet, that conjoins water streams from the neighborhood streets. Before sending a strong surge stream of water into the detention basin, the inlet includes columns — carefully designed in front of the inlet — that absorb the shock of the water stream and disperse energy so that a strong water jet doesn’t dig a deep trench into the bottom of the Cypress Detention Basin.

The Cypress Basin is designed to slowly drain water into the area wide storm sewer distribution east of Arlington Heights, unless the basin is at risk of overflowing its banks. Then another outlet is available to speed up emptying of the Cypress Basin.

The Cypress Basin replaced a community garden that is now located near District 214 headquarters and Robert Morris University.

The Cypress water detention project was the first major project to be funded in part by a newly implemented stormwater utility fee. The village board in August 2017 approved a new $6.25-per-month fee to help fund flooding mitigation projects. The revenue will help pay off $10 million the village borrowed in a bond issue earlier this year for the enlarged Cypress basin and five other stormwater projects deemed by village officials to be high priority.

The Cypress area flooding was evaluated as the highest priority of 17 stormwater projects following a storm in July 2011.

Cypress Basin looks like a bay and the strip mall lights in the background look like harbor lights
Cypress Basin looks like a bay and the strip mall lights in the background look like harbor lights.
Cypress Basin "harbor lights" in Arlington Heights
Cypress Basin “harbor lights” in Arlington Heights.
Evergreen Avenue Cul-de-Sac with 'harbor lights' in Arlington Heights
Evergreen Avenue Cul-de-Sac with ‘harbor lights’ in Arlington Heights.

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Arlington Heights 'Harbor Lights' across from Dondi's and Domino's pizza
Arlington Heights ‘Harbor Lights’ across from Dondi’s and Domino’s pizza.