Many in our communities experienced serious water issues during the recent heavy rains, and experts tell us that these heavy rain events will only continue in frequency and intensity. There are some things we can all do to reduce the amount and rate of water entering our streets, storm sewers, and homes. These include:

1. If you haven’t already done so, disconnect your downspouts from the storm sewers. These connections are illegal in most places, yet a recent walk in Brookfield revealed many houses still connected this way, in plain sight.

2. Don’t blow grass clipping and leaves into the street, or stop your landscaping service from doing so. Leave clippings and leaves down, where they will provide habitat and nutrition for your lawn and growing plants. 

The stuff blown into the street washes down the curb when it rains and blocks the storm sewer grates, contributing to standing water and backups during heavy rain events. Also, pick up trash at your curb or on your parkway to prevent it from washing down to the storm grates, too.

3. Consider installing a rain garden or other landscape feature with native plants that have deep roots. These can greatly slow or reduce the amount of water entering the storm sewer, eliminating areas of standing water in lawns and beautifying your property. 

Organizations like your local library or the Brookfield Native Plants Club can help connect you with resources for beneficial yard features to help with water management on your property.

The livability of our communities depends on all of us doing our part to help ease the burden on our infrastructure, creeks and rivers from these increasingly frequent heavy rain events.

Suzanne Williams, Brookfield