Maybe paving alleys is not so great

Opinion: Letters to the editor

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While paving the alleys in Brookfield may seem like progress, I'm not so sure. I know that unpaved alleys are dusty and hard to plow, but they allow rain to percolate down into the ground and be absorbed. 

Paved alleys drain very quickly into the storm water systems and much of that rapidly finds its way into the rivers like Salt Creek which overflow their banks into basements. I did some math:

A 2-inch rain will deposit about 100,000 gallons of water on the one-block long alley behind my house. A major storm like the one we had last month can put 500,000 gallons of water on a paved alley and into Salt Creek. 

Multiply that times many alleys here and upstream, add to it the new parking lots and other building projects, and we can see why the rivers and creeks will overflow more frequently than ever before.

Meathead Goldwyn

Brookfield

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Gian Ricco  

Posted: December 6th, 2017 8:21 PM

All good points. Aggregate surfaces definitely allow for greater infiltration of water than paved surfaces. That said, I think the actual volume of water generated from a two inch rain falling on an average alley is closer to 10-20k gallons vs 100k as the author suggests... though that's still a lot of water!

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