Sidewalk Ponding

Sidewalks provide a safe, paved path for pedestrians to travel. When ponding water affects the usability of a sidewalk, it is not only a nuisance, but also a pedestrian safety concern.

Sidewalk and Curb Maintenance Program 

Each year, the City of Naperville performs sidewalk and curb maintenance to repair defective sidewalk and curbs. The program helps to keep all city sidewalks in good condition. Eligibility for the Sidewalk and Curb Maintenance Program is determined through inspection by City staff.

In order for a section of sidewalk to qualify for the City’s Sidewalk and Curb Maintenance Program, one of the following conditions must exist.

  • Sidewalk must be sunken or risen to a height difference of one inch or more between sections.
  • Sidewalk must be broken or separated into three or more pieces.
  • Fifty percent or more of the sidewalk surface must be deteriorated or spalling. 
  • Required improvements to meet Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines. 

If you are concerned about ponding water on the sidewalk outside of your home or elsewhere, the City encourages you to request an inspection by a City inspector to confirm if one of the conditions listed above exists. For more information and links to the application process, please visit the Sidewalk and Curb Maintenance Program page. 

What if my sidewalk doesn’t meet the requirements of the program?

The City does not repair sidewalks and curbs that do not meet the criteria of the Sidewalk and Curb Maintenance Program. Sections of sidewalk prone to ponding water that don't meet the program criteria may be eligible for a post-rainfall event check. This check is designed to assess whether areas of concerns have sufficiently drained within 72 hours, the duration the City allows for normal drainage. These checks are performed in the spring, summer and fall following a moderate rain event. If a post-rainfall event check finds a property to have standing water on the sidewalk or curb for a longer duration than acceptable, City staff will contact the property owner regarding options to improve the condition and discuss further City participation. 

When a sidewalk or curb drains in an appropriate amount of time, the City will not take any further action on the matter. 

Conditions such as ponding water on a sidewalk, icy conditions or mud on the sidewalk are the responsibility of the property owner to maintain. The following is a list of suggestions that may improve sidewalk drainage.

  1. Identify sources of water and evaluate if the sources can be reduced or relocated to minimize discharge to the sidewalk
  2. Consider using a power edger to edge your lawn adjacent to the sidewalk. The intention is to create a small reservoir which will hold the water off pavement.
  3. Consider hiring a contractor to regrade the parkway. Only a small section of parkway immediately adjacent to the area of concern may need to be re-graded to allow water to continue to move off of the sidewalk.
  4. Consider installing an infiltration trench along the edge of sidewalk to allow the water to drain more quickly into the soil.
  5. Consider installing a yard drain in the yard or parkway which connects to a storm drainage structure.
  6. Consider hiring a contractor to rebuild or repair the sidewalk at an elevation or slope that improves drainage.

Permit Requirements

  • A right-of-way permit is required before making changes to the sidewalk, curb, apron or driveway. A right-of-way permit is also required if excavation of the parkway is proposed. 
  • A storm sewer connection permit is required to tie into the City's storm sewer system. 
  • Concrete placement within the right-of-way must be performed by a City licensed contractor.