Adopting the MWRDGC Watershed Management Ordinance (WMO)

Back in 2013, EEA shared some changes to the WMO effective October 4, 2014 and possible project implications. As we mentioned, although this ordinance has the potential to improve regional flooding and reduce water pollution, it could also result in increased project costs. Before May 1, 2015 there was still an opportunity to permit projects under the old ordinance to avoid increasing project costs, pending municipal acceptance. Since that window closed, now all projects falling within the MWRD jurisdiction are required to adhere to the WMO.

The Criteria: Who is impacted and how does your project stack up?

The MWRD is a government agency that oversees the treatment of wastewater and stormwater management in Cook County. The WMO provides requirements and regulations for stormwater management.

Detention considerations:

  • Projects located in suburban Cook County (including combined sewer areas)
  • Multi-family or non-residential projects—Property size exceeding three acres
  • Single-family residential project—Property size exceeding five acres
  • Proposed improvements disturb (consume) more than 0.5 acres

Volume Control (Best Management Practices) Considerations:

  • Projects located in suburban Cook County (including combined sewer areas)
  • Multi-family or non-residential projects— Property developments larger than 0.5 acres except those that contain an area where there are improvements are less than 0.1 acres in size
  • Single-family project – Property size exceeding one acre

We have to do that? We never did before”

So what revisions did we find most surprising? Generally, changes involving volume control, detention and wetland delineations near developments. Below are the ten most impactful changes you should be aware of:

  • An MWRD permit is required prior to any mass grading or foundation installation
  • Disturbance area is a criterion  for MWRD permitting. The permit is no longer dependent upon sanitary sewers or prior permits
  • Stormwater detention is required in combined sewer areas
  • Volume control (infiltration) is required on developed or redeveloped properties more than 0.5 acres
  • Volume control is required in both separate and combined sewer areas
  • Volume control is required for all new pavement/building areas, regardless if it is replacing an existing hard surface area
  • There must be elevation separation between groundwater elevation and the bottom of the volume control system in combined and separate sewer areas
  • Infiltration is required regardless of soil types- clay soil is not an exception
  • Soil testing may be required to determine the permeability of the soils
  • The MWRD now has jurisdiction over erosion and sediment control measures
  • The detention requirement will automatically become even more restrictive in approximately three years

How we can help navigate these changes

EEA has permitted dozens of projects under the WMO. Our team has helped clients use the nuances of the ordinance to make key design decisions that meet the requirements in cost-effective and innovative ways, while incorporating green infrastructure. The following is a sampling of recommendations on how to best utilize the ordinance:

  • 25% reduction in volume control with every 5% reduction in imperviousness
  • Synthetic turf athletic fields are not considered impervious
  • Reduce or eliminate additional detention where minimal changes affect an existing basin
  • Eliminate the need for conveyance of off-site flow by incorporating it into site stormwater facilities at a net reduction in cost
  • Eliminate an increase in detention for on-site flow that cannot be captured by offsetting it with equivalent upstream areas

EEA is a resource in guiding consultants and owners through the intricacies of the WMO. For more information, please contact us at info@eea-ltd.com or at (847) 223-4804.

EEA Featured in Building Design and Construction Magazine

EEA was recently mentioned in “8 Trends Sparking the Hospitality Sector” in the December issue of Building Design and Construction Magazine. EEA was part of the design team for the Hampton Inn Hotel located near Loyola University in Chicago.8 Trends Sparking the Hospitality Sector

Eriksson Engineering Associates and Team Partners Receive “Structural Ingenuity” Award at Canstruction Chicago 2015

EEA Chicago Canstruction 2015

Teammates from Eriksson Engineering Associates, Fitzgerald Associates Architects, ECS Midwest and Power Construction participated in the Canstruction Chicago 2015 can building competition benefiting the Greater Chicago Food Depository and received the “Structural Ingenuity Award” for the team’s sculpture “__ in 6.”

Judges were asked to make the selection based on the sculpture that, “Pushes the limits of gravity and physics to turn a basic can of food into a structure that makes you say, “Wow, how did they do that?”.

“_ in 6” attempts to reach to the bounds, but leaves space between food deserts, perhaps, or underfunding. The void in “_ in 6’s” center— 5’-0” in diameter, here— represents 1/6th of our build-able area and, more importantly, the 1 in 6 people who are hungry in and around Chicago. We hope that with attention and ever-increasing efforts, the gaps will be closed, the voids will be filled, and the hungry will be fed.

The team’s structure was built with 8,000 cans that were donated directly to the Greater Chicago Food Depository.

On behalf of EEEA, we would like to thank our supporters and team sponsors for their generosity.

EEA Welcomes Design Engineer


Eriksson Engineering Associates is also pleased to announce the addition of Aaron Bruder. Aaron previously interned with EEA’s design team and was recently brought on as a full-time Design Engineer.

Prior to completing his degree in Civil Engineering at the University of Illinois, Aaron attended the prestigious Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy where he graduated with his high school diploma at the age of 16.

Aaron is based in EEA’s Grayslake office and will support the design team with engineering design and construction monitoring.

Although Aaron has strong engineering and technical skills, he also has a background in marketing. While at the University of Illinois, he worked as a marketing intern and assisted with the development and administration of several online marketing campaigns.

As a Grayslake native, Aaron is very excited to kick off his engineering career back in his home town. Outside EEA, he continues to volunteer for his Fraternity of Alpha Kappa Lambda on both a local and national level.





Eriksson Engineering Expands Service Offerings with New Project Manager

Steven Gregory Eriksson Engineering.

Eriksson Engineering Associates, Ltd. is pleased to announce Steven Gregory, RLA, ASLA has joined the firm as a Project Manager and Director of Land Planning and Landscape Architecture, expanding EEA’s service offerings to include civil engineering, traffic and parking, and landscape architecture.

Steve has more than 25 years of experience in land planning and landscape architecture. His portfolio includes work for both private and public sector clients on a variety of projects from small single lot developments to large mixed use developments.  In addition to preparing site and landscape plans for private developments Steve has also worked with several clients to prepare Design Guidelines for community submittal and approval requirements. His background reviewing development submittals and preparing landscape ordinances for municipalities gives him an informed approach when directing  EEA clients through the development process.

Steve is a Registered Landscape Architect and member of the American Society of Landscape Architects. He also serves on the South Suburban Home Builders Association as chairman of the Municipal Outreach Committee. In 2009 Steve was named Associate of the Year by the Home Builders Association of Illinois for his efforts in shaping the Will County Conservation Design Ordinance on behalf of the South West Suburban Home Builders Association (SSHBA).

Steve is based in EEA’s Chicago office and will work alongside the design team to provide clients with an additional service offering leading to a more streamlined approach to site development.

Outside of EEA, Steve enjoys woodworking and also serves on the Board of Directors for the Disabled Patriot Fund, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping disabled veterans.

EEA Celebrates 20th Anniversary


EEA recently celebrated its 20th anniversary of providing of civil engineering, traffic and parking services to clients throughout Illinois.

EEA was founded in 1995 by Glen Eriksson. Since then, EEA has expanded to a staff of 23 employees spread between three offices located in Grayslake, Chicago and Mokena, Illinois.

To commemorate the milestone, staff kicked off the week-long celebration by throwing EEA a 20th birthday party between the Chicago and Grayslake offices. The celebration continued at the annual summer rooftop party with a cake cutting by principals George Dreger, Glen Eriksson, Mike Renner, and Kevin Camino. EEA also produced a 20th anniversary logo and company timeline detailing firm’s evolution into several markets and through welcoming senior leadership.

President Glen Eriksson commented, “It’s been an incredible journey so far, and I attribute that to our dedicated staff and clients who have trusted us to navigate and solve their project concerns. I’m really looking forward to the next ten years as we transition to the next generation of leadership, and helping our staff grow and continue a tradition of excellence in client service.”


EEA Principal Elected Chairman of Illinois Association of School Boards’ Service Associates Executive Committee

GlennEriksson_27Principal Glen Eriksson was recently elected as Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Illinois Association of School Boards (IASB) Service Associates branch. Eriksson will represent the 12-person committee as a non-voting member on the IASB’s statewide Board of Directors.

EEA was first invited to join the IASB Service Associates in 2009, after Glen completed 16 years of elected service as a Board Member for Grayslake Community High School District 127 in central Lake County. In 2011 EEA was elected to represent the Service Associates on its Executive Committee.

IASB is a volunteer-based, not-for-profit organization made up of local school boards with the common goal of developing high standards in school district governance.  Businesses invited to join the Service Associates branch are committed to providing outstanding school-related services to school boards and have a proven interest in advancing public education in Illinois.

“I always felt that as a school board member, my highest priority was serving the needs of students, and exceeding the expectations of our community in a fiscally responsible manner.  Getting involved in IASB after my board tenure was a logical next step since EEA has worked directly with school districts for more than 20 years,” said Eriksson. “As Chairman of the Executive Committee, it is my goal to continue the mission of the group by providing valuable advice and acting as a resource for school board members.”

Eriksson Engineering Associates, Ltd. (EEA) provides civil engineering, traffic and parking services for architects, institutional owners and developers throughout the Midwest. EEA consultants focus on the overall project goals and advocate on behalf of clients through the municipal and public review process.


EEA Adds Senior Design Engineer Christopher M. Fish to Chicago Office

Headshot_Chris F.Eriksson Engineering Associates, Ltd. is pleased to announce the addition of Christopher M. Fish, P.E. as Senior Design Engineer. Chris is based in EEA’s Chicago office and brings more than 10 years of experience in civil site development and transportation engineering throughout northeastern Illinois.

Since graduating from Southern Illinois University, Chris has performed work in a variety of market areas including, commercial, industrial, parks and recreation, education, transportation and aviation. In his most recent role as a transportation engineer, Chris worked with several local and state agencies including CDOT, IDOT, ISHTA, CDA and CDWM. His recent work included design of safety, geometric, and drainage improvements for the Bloomingdale Trail, also known to Chicago residents as The 606 (a recreational trail and park using an elevated rail line), reconstruction and rehabilitation of Taxiways Y and K as well as south ramp improvements at Chicago Midway International Airport, and streetscape improvement projects for the University of Chicago.

Chris’s diverse background working with public agencies expands EEA’s knowledge-base, and further solidifies our strong relationship with the City while advocating on behalf of our clients.

Chris is a Chicago-area native, and currently resides in Des Plaines.  When he is not leading or designing projects, you can find him knocking down strikes with his bowling league and preparing for the next Tough Mudder challenge.


EEA Welcomes Marketing Coordinator and Design Engineer

Marie Wittig, Marketing Coordinator

Marie_Wittig personal headshotEriksson Engineering Associates is excited to welcome Marie Wittig to the team as Marketing Coordinator.  Marie is based in our Chicago office and will lead firm-wide marketing initiatives and promotions. Marie brings with her a strong marketing communications background with experience in public relations, advertising, event coordination, and marketing collateral development.

Since graduating from Marquette University with a degree in Public Relations and Advertising, Marie has worked on a variety of marketing programs for clients across many industries including transportation, manufacturing, and retail. Marie’s passion for b-to-b marketing began at a young age when she started working at her family’s business. This experience taught her the importance of developing and maintaining client relationships.

Outside the office, Marie enjoys running, traveling, and discovering new restaurants. Last spring, she was able to incorporate all three of her hobbies while completing the San Francisco Rock N’ Roll Half Marathon.



Jana Knoppe, Design Engineer

Eriksson Engineering Associates is also pleased to announce the addition of Jana Knoppe as Design Engineer. Jana will assist with civil site design projects in Chicago and neighboring suburban markets.

Jana recently graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a degree in Civil Engineering. Originally from Freiburg, Germany, she came to Chicago to study engineering after receiving a scholarship to play on the Division I UIC Flames Women’s Tennis Team. Jana’s hard work paid off on and off the court and holds the UIC Career Singles Victory Record.

New Technical Director Builds on EEA Quality Control

TomHill_04Thomas Hill, P.E. is pleased to take the QA/QC reins from former technical director and now Sr. Project Manager George Dreger, P.E., LEED Green Associate. With more than 18 years of engineering experience at EEA, Tom has been an integral part of design teams working on a broad range of projects through northern Illinois and the Chicagoland area. Tom has extensive experience on institutional, education, healthcare projects with both public and private development clients. His theoretical and applied engineering skills empower him to support and direct technical staff to find the right balance of cutting-edge innovation with established engineering principles. Tom has been a technical leader with EEA staff for many years, GeorgeDreger_34but now looks forward to the new challenges of broadening his influence to all projects. In his short time as technical director, Tom has already expanded on quality assurance strategies, ensuring the team stays informed on new regulatory changes to best serve clients and owners.

George will return to direct project management, continuing to develop relationships with longtime clients. He will remain an important technical resource at EEA, supporting Tom as the new director and serving as a mentor to other EEA team members.