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.