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Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago

Applications for the Stormwater Partnership Program have been temporarily closed to new applicants

How to apply


Review the program requirements

Review the program requirements below to learn about:

Program requirements

A video on how to complete your pre-application and additional details about the program is available!

Watch the webinar


Submit a pre-application form

Pre-application forms must be received by February 11, 2024 to be considered for the program.

Submit a pre-application


Finalize your application

Deadline Extended to May 24, 2024 

Full applications must be finalized and submitted by the above date to be considered for the program.

Full Applications were sent to pre-applicants via e-mail on April 1, 2024.

Review and feedback: Our team will review your applications and contact you with any questions and feedback. A tracking number will be assigned to reference your project.

Questions: If you have any questions on how to apply to this program or have difficulty with the online form, please contact

Aspen Trails and Burning Bush Trails in the Village of Mount Prospect

The MWRD partnered with Mount Prospect in 2021 to improve their local parks and provide over 5.5 million gallons of underground stormwater detention to protect around 100 structures.

About the program

The MWRD can help local government organizations pay for the construction of stormwater infrastructure on public property in Cook County.

The program funds projects that address flooding through a variety of traditional engineering solutions including localized detention, upsizing critical storm sewers and culverts, pumping stations, establishing drainage ways, as well as green infrastructure. This infrastructure can reduce flooding and prevent damage to residential homes and businesses.

Regularly, the MWRD reviews applications and selects projects for partnerships. The selected partner is responsible for their project's design, contract advertisement and award, construction, and long-term maintenance.

Program requirements


Who can apply?

Public entities that can enter into an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) with the MWRD. This includes municipalities, townships, county agencies, park districts, school districts, and other government organizations.

What projects are eligible?

  • Projects that manage stormwater via on-site stormwater detention, conveyance improvements and/or stream channel improvements,
  • Projects that reduce or prevent flooding of structures,
  • Projects that do not adversely impact downstream stormwater conditions,
  • Projects located within MWRD's corporate boundaries,
  • Projects not currently under construction and not already completed;
  • Projects that have perpetual ownership and/or easements over the entire project site (or are able to secure prior to construction),
  • “Shovel Ready” projects and projects that have finalized preliminary design,
  • Projects are ineligible for the program if they are used to comply with the requirements of the MWRDGC Watershed Management Ordinance (WMO) or other local, state or federal requirements.

How can funding be used?

MWRD funding can be used to reimburse the construction costs of stormwater infrastructure.

Selected applicants are expected to cover all remaining costs associated with the project, including:

  • Engineering and design,
  • Right-of-way and land acquisition,
  • Non-stormwater infrastructure related construction costs, and
  • Operations, maintenance, and other non-construction related costs.

The reimbursement amount to be provided to a selected project is based on the effectiveness of the project, the needs of the community, and availability of funding. Reimbursements are made via an IGA Reimbursement Form submitted at specific construction completion milestones. Supplemental documentation is required for reimbursement.

General partnership (IGA) requirements

Selected applicants, or "partners", will enter into an IGA with the MWRD. These standard requirements are applicable to all stormwater projects and will be included in the draft IGA:

Project design, contract administration, and construction administration
Partners are responsible for project design, contract administration, and construction administration including:

  • Obtaining all permits required for the construction of the project,
  • Completing preliminary and final design,
  • Providing construction documents to the MWRD for commenting,
  • Finalizing bidding documents,
  • Bidding and awarding contracts,
  • Construction management, and
  • Submitting as-built drawings to the MWRD

Competitive bidding
The MWRD requires partners to follow the Purchasing Act for the MWRDGC, which requires projects to be publicly bid and establishes minimum guidelines to ensure the bidding process is conducted fairly.

Among other requirements, the Purchasing Act sets minimums for bid advertisement and review periods, contract award criteria, contract bonds, and it also establishes protections against bid fraud or collusion. While a partner can utilize its own processes, the MWRD requires partners to certify that the minimum standards of the District’s Purchasing Act are met.

Multi-Project Labor Agreement (MPLA) requirement and prevailing wage
The MWRD values tradespeople and union members and has entered into the MWRDGC Multi-Project Labor Agreement with 20 different labor unions. Partners must ensure any contractors who perform work in any of the covered trades follow the terms of the MPLA for the portion of projects receiving MWRD funding. Finally, as required by state law, partners must also ensure that the Prevailing Wage Act is also followed.

Affirmative Action Goals on MWRD's Reimbursement Amount
The MWRD Affirmative Action Ordinance and the tailored goals determined by MWRD's Diversity department must be met for the portion of the project funded by the MWRD. Failure to comply with the affirmative action requirements may result in a reduction in the amount the MWRD reimburses. In general, the MWRD has tailored goals for:

  • Minority-Owned Business Enterprises (MBE),
  • Women-Owned Business Enterprises (WBE), and
  • Veteran-Owned Business Enterprises (VBE).

After a construction contract awarded, MWRD's Diversity department will review the contractor's utilization plan identifying the MBE/WBE/VBE participation percent and certifying their qualifying status. To ensure these goals stay on track, the MWRD requires a status report and documentation be submitted with each reimbursement request.

Refer to the the Affirmative Action Ordinance Revised Appendix D and the Veteran-Owned Business Enterprise Contracting Policy Requirements Appendix-V for more information.

Partners must have (or be able to obtain) perpetual ownership or easement over the project site. Partners are required to obtain all property rights necessary to complete a project. The partners will have complete ownership over all improvements made during and after the project. The MWRD will not accept any ownership or property interest in any part of the project or improvements.

Long Term Operations and Maintenance
Regular upkeep and maintenance is necessary for a stormwater project to function properly and provide the expected stormwater benefit. For that reason, partners are required to provide routine maintenance as dictated by an operations and maintenance (O&M) plan jointly developed and agreed upon by the partner and the MWRD.

The O&M plan must establish guidelines for inspecting, reporting, and maintaining the project. Partners will be responsible for all costs associated with operating and maintaining the project in accordance with the O&M plan.

Additional O&M rules and requirements include:

  • The partner is required to perform annual inspections and prepare an inspection report for review by the MWRD. Inspection reports must be reviewed and signed by the head of the department responsible for maintenance duties.
  • O&M must continue for the service life of the installation (typically 50-100 years).
  • The MWRD will be allowed access to the project site to perform its own inspection.

Partners will be required to indemnify the MWRD for any and all claims arising from the design, construction, maintenance, operation or ownership of the project and any related stormwater infrastructure installation.

How are applications evaluated?

The MWRD evaluates each application based on specific metrics, which include but are not limited to:

  • Number of flood-prone structures that will benefit from the project and the cost-effectiveness to provide these benefits,
  • Frequency and severity of flooding documented within and around the project area,
  • Funding sources, requested cost share from the MWRD,
  • Emphasis on stormwater detention,
  • The Applicant's ability to maintain and operate the new installation,
  • The project's current design schedule and risk assessment for delays,
  • Economic needs of the community and previous assistance from the MWRD, and
  • Compliance with federal, state and local ordinances, including all MWRD ordinances.

Reference documents

Please visit the partnership program reference documents webpage to review the program materials and forms.

If you have any questions regarding this program and how to apply, please contact