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    Let’s face it, most of us expend significant effort to maintain a level of organization in our homes.  Unless we have taken time and maybe gotten some help from a professional, we most likely have an area of our home that is messy and cluttered.  We probably have resources in that area of our home that could be utilized by us or others.  We all want to help our community and feel useful in touching our world.  So, I think that we can agree that organization and careful planning can improve our ability to use the resources in our home in the most efficient way.

    I want to draw on organization as a way to more fully understand proper drainage in our yards and business properties.  We know that the more paper we have in our office, the more we have to use techniques of organization to know where the information is.  Likewise, the more surface water that we have on our yard, the more that we have to move, store and discharge.  In our office, we could have one large file cabinet where we store all of our papers, however, most of us use more than one cabinet, shelf or bookcase to store our papers.  In drainage engineering, we utilize a variety of Best Management Practices such as, rain garden; pond; infiltration trench; bioretention trench; etc…  These work to help remove sediments and contaminants and reduce surface volume.

    Then we start to look at what generates the most amount of papers to see if we can’t use some electronic or other means of reducing the volume.  If we know where the papers come from, we can look to use some other form of organizing the data, so that it can be easily found.  In drainage engineering, we can look at what generates the most volume to help reduce the point source volume or look to detain the water and release it at a slower rate.  Knowing where the outlet of the water is helps us maintain the release of water downstream.

    We all know that mail is a large generator of potential papers in your office.  If we can reduce the amount that we keep, there is less to organize.  Also, we all know that water flows downstream and goes to the lowest potential energy.

    Then we have the really important papers that we file away and make sure they are protected in the event of a fire or other disaster.  When we have flooding on our property and especially if gets in our home, document the height of the water and take lots of photos.  These will prove to be invaluable as you describe the precipitation event to your insurance company, the City and any other agency.

    Then there are those times that we need the help of a professional to help us with our papers, such as in the time of an audit.  Your CPA or accountant will help you prepare the right papers for that audit.  When we have issues in our yard, before we take matters into our own hand and disrupt the water flow into your neighbors’ yard, ask your City and local professional engineer about how to best handle that problem area.

    So, whether we are managing our office documents or fixing that problematic area in your yard, organization and planning go a long way in achieving your goal of a neat and tidy office or a well-draining and efficient yard.