Potential Overland Flow Analysis


The Village of Oak Brook regularly experiences a large number of
drainage complaints during the rainy seasons. As a result a lot of time
and man power is allocated to researching and resolving the cause of
drainage complaints. In an effort to stay ahead of the complaints,
Village engineers and the GIS specialist came up with a method of
mapping out overland flow paths on private property, along with
identifying low lying areas that may potentially gather and hold water

As shown in the image, the GIS specialist used a digital elevation
model (DEM), along with 1 ft. contour lines to determine the direction
in which water will potentially travel through residents’ back yards.
By following the contours of the earth, the water will most often lead
you to the street, a water body, or a low lying area. By
pre-determining the most likely direction of travel, engineers can plan
new installations of storm sewer utilities or advise a resident on
possible solutions for low lying spots within their yard. This
information is valuable to Village engineers because they can not only
plan for future capital improvements, but can also research and resolve
drainage issues much easier and sometimes without even having to go into
the field.