The Storm Water Pumping Station (SWPS), owned and operated by the Village of Wilmette, pumps storm water and street drainage from the separate sewer system on the west side of Wilmette to the North Branch of the Chicago River. The drainage area for the station includes all Wilmette properties west of Ridge Road. The station is located on the west border of the Village, at 4000 Lake Avenue.
Normally the SWPS is not staffed. The station pumps typically operate automatically, using a combination of Warrick level probes and a sump level signal to control pump operations as storm water levels in the intake chamber rise. The discharge from the station enters one of two chambers to the west of the pump building and flows by gravity to the river. The two discharge pipes terminate at the Chicago River, near the Lake Avenue overpass.
The station is monitored remotely from the C. P. Dubbs Water Plant and the fixed speed pumps can be started and stopped remotely if necessary. The SWPS is staffed during heavy storm periods. A heavy rain event may require two or more pumps running simultaneously.
The power to operate the station comes from two ComEd 12kV power lines from different portions of the ComEd power grid. There are two 1,500 kVA ComEd transformers, one feeding each end of the Village’s 480V switchgear inside the station. Either line is adequate to operate all the SWPS pumps.
In 2008, the Village of Wilmette completed an Electrical Improvements project that included the installation of an 800 kW back-up electrical generator. The back-up generator is capable of operating 3 out of 5 pumps in the event of total loss of power.