Dec 28, 2020

South Carolina to Create Storm Water Plan for Waccamaw Neck

A storm water master plan launched by Georgetown County will show the impacts on drainage in the Waccamaw Neck

South Carolina

A storm water master plan launched by Georgetown County, South Carolina will show the impacts on drainage if the Waccamaw Neck is built out under current zoning. 

According to the county, the Waccamaw Neck study is the first phase of the master plan. This study will identify watershed and drainage basins over about 37,000 acres and inventory over 14,000 drainage features, according to the proposal outlined by Thomas & Hutton, the engineering firm hired to create the plan.

This plan is part of a $702,000 study approved by County Council, which will also recommend improvements to infrastructure and policies to mitigate impacts, reported the Coastal Observer.

In October, a county-wide master plan was created. The plan currently has 41 storm water projects planned, which will continue to move forward, reported the city’s website. 

No new projects will be added until the master plan is completed, which is estimated to take approximately three to five years. The county will be able to start setting aside funds for those that emerge from the master plan, according to Ray Funnye, the county director of Public Services.

“That’s going to be very important for us in the future as we grow our program,” said Administrator Angela Christian.

The plan also involves compiling existing data from electronic and paper records going back 30 years. It is likely that there will be online meetings to give the public the opportunity to identify problem areas.

“Separate models will be developed for each independent outfall or watershed,” according to the firm’s proposal. “The models will be developed with a focus on each watershed’s major storm water conveyance systems and channels as well as the defined problem areas.”

Thomas & Hutton want to use software approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to model the drainage system to determine how it will perform during storms and deal with tidal influences.

The study also accounts for sea level rise.

Water quality is also a component of the study, as the master plan will include data on the 10,250-acre Murrells Inlet estuary. A watershed plan was adopted for this estuary in 2014.

Once the data is compiled, it will be incorporated into the county’s geographic information system. 

“The goal will be to engage residents by giving users a clear understanding of the drainage system and a place to submit photos and videos of potential issues and problems,” said the proposal.

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