Rain rain go away! With each storm that hits Chester County our phones ring more and more. Drainage problem after drainage problem seems to be appearing out of nowhere. Homeowner’s yards with rivers in them, driveway stream crossings washing out, videos of basins filling up with water. Could it be possible that these are all drainage “problems”? Of course not! These drainage “problems” are the direct result of record rainfalls for the last 2 years. Currently, Chester County is approximately 75% ABOVE it’s average rainfall for the year. That is a massive amount!. And it isn’t just the rain. The ground is so saturated that infiltration has been so diminished that nearly all of the rainfall that comes out of the sky is hitting the ground and running off. And yet, everyone wants to point the blame at their neighbor, PENN DOT, their Township etc. rather than blaming the true culprit…..Mother Nature. That is right, Mother Nature is currently giving us a pretty good ass whipping and she shows no signs of letting up. So….what can be done you ask? Well, a few things actually. First and foremost is that one must recognize that about 75% of these “problems” are not problems at all. For example, a river of water flowing through your yard on it’s way to a stormwater facility is not a problem. With a lot of rain, you have to expect a lot of runoff. If your house is not being flooded out or your yard isn’t being eroded than you don’t have a problem. If you don’t care to see water running through your yard when it rains then buy a house on top of a hill. Secondly, with these extreme rainfall amounts one also must consider that older communities were not designed to handle such events. We classify storms by intensity and frequency of occurrence. For example, a 2 year storm is a storm with such intensity that it is expected to occur once every 2 years and a 100 year event is a storm with such extreme intensity that it is expected to only occur once every 100 years or so. The problem is, Mother Nature is sending us rain events of 2, 5, 10 and even 25 year frequencies every few WEEKS! Many older communities were simply not designed to convey stormwater for these large events and further compounding this problem is severe lack of maintenance of these pipe systems. Many are clogged, collapsed and in disrepair. So….how can THAT be fixed? Short answer, not easily. It requires money, lots of money. A few municipalities have now formed Stormwater Authorities and are collecting a fee (not a tax!!) from property owners based upon their area of impervious coverage. Will this new “fee” fix these problems? That remains to be seen and I for one am skeptical, sorry. So…my best advice, unless you want to spend 10’s if not 100’s of thousands of your own dollars, is to grin and bear it and keep telling yourself….this is noooooo problem!