Win or lose, the Cleveland vs. Golden State series is teaching us a thing or two about the similarities between managing sewage and battling through a tough finals match-up. Let's get the whiteboard out and dry-erase a few match-ups.
  1. Don't allow yourself to get overwhelmed.
    The NBA Finals have not started off well for the Cleveland Cavaliers, and when you fall behind early, the comeback gets even harder. The same goes for a sewer system; when storms overwhelm combined sewers, pollution is inevitable, the key is to better manage the flow before it enters the system to keep things under control. Control the pace and you can better control the outcome.
  2. Control the pace.
    When the Cavs move the ball, good things happen. When stormwater managers can slow the flow and reduce the volume of runoff, good things happen. Don't let Splash City get us underwater.
  3. Find a solution that works for your situation.
    Adapt adapt adapt. Cleveland has adapted its federal consent decree to meet the needs of its customers and its Great Lake. If the Cavs can't adapt to the Warriors challenges, look out.
  4. Have a presence down low.
    Cleveland needs to be strong under the basket and not be intimidated by Golden State. While our stormwater and water quality solutions need a green presence on the surface, they won't work without a strong gray infrastructure presence underground.
  5. It's not too late.
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    If the Cuyahoga River burned in 1969 and has come back to be a rebirth story of our generation, a Finals deficit is nothing. Let's do this.