Doerhoefer Tennis & Pickleball Courts

Sat April 3, 2021

Over the last several years, the Downers Grove Park District has worked to resolve issues with the surface of the tennis and pickleball courts at Doerhoefer Park. Moisture from the water table below the courts continues to bubble to the surface creating cracks in the courts and pushing dirt onto the surface.

In 2017, groundwater issues were addressed by installing larger drain tile along the east side of the courts as well as two drainage pipes to help relieve the water pressure. Since then, the issues with cracks and seepage has continued despite multiple efforts to patch and repair the courts. The courts are open for play, however, the current appearance of the courts does not meet our District’s standards.

The District has determined that a long-term solution is required to properly resolve the water table issues and improve the condition of the courts. The Board of Commissioners will discuss options and solutions during the next Board Workshop, which will be held at 7pm on Thursday, April 1, via Zoom. For information on how to join the meeting, please visit

In the meantime, the District will continue to maintain the courts to the best of our ability without causing further damage to the surface. The Downers Grove Park District is dedicated to providing this much-desired amenity for the community to enjoy and we thank you for your patience as we develop a long-term solution for the tennis and pickleball courts at Doerhoefer Park.

Actions taken at the Doerhoefer Tennis Courts since 2014:

  • Spring 2014 – Tennis Court Renovation: A new asphalt surface overlay and color coating, plus new court nets and perimeter fence fabric. One existing tennis court was converted into two new pickleball courts.
  • Summer 2014: Water is observed bubbling up through the new asphalt surface. This had not occurred prior to the resurfacing. Previously, cracks in the court surface may have allowed groundwater to evaporate or move through the cracks. By covering and sealing the old cracks, it appears that hydrostatic pressure below the courts has caused water to push up through the new surface.
  • Spring 2015: Staff determines that the existing drain tile surrounding the outside edge of the courts has become clogged with tree roots and dirt. Parks staff uses a sewer pipe rodder to cut tree roots from inside the pipes.
  • Summer 2016: Water continues to push up through the surface, and as a result, cracks have begun to form in the court surface. The color coating along these cracks has also started to peel away.
  • Fall 2016: Staff believes the existing drain tile is still not functioning as intended (roots are likely still blocking the holes in the pipe). Staff solicits quotes from contractors to install new, larger drain tile along the north and east sides, but quotes are higher than anticipated and would require bidding.
  • Summer 2017: Staff solicits quotes to install new drain tile along the east side only (next to the pickleball courts). The contractor also pushes two pipes under the edge of the courts, to help relieve groundwater pressure from under the courts.
  • Summer 2018: Staff monitors the court condition, to see if water continues to come up through the surface. The surface appears to be dry.
  • Summer 2019: Staff hires a contractor to fill in the cracks with colored acrylic patch material.
  • Summer 2020: Staff monitors the court condition, and does not observe water pushing up through the newly-sealed cracks.
  • Spring 2021: Staff observes new cracks and seepage.