Carolina Beach Extending Lake Drain Pipe To Curtail Flooding

Carolina Beach Extending Lake Drain Pipe To Curtail Flooding

Carolina Beach Extending Lake Drain Pipe To Curtail Flooding Featured

By / Local News / Wednesday, 11 March 2020 17:17

By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
Managing Editor

CAROLINA BEACH - The Town of Carolina Beach voted last year to fund an extension of a pipe within the Carolina Beach Lake to help pump the lake to a lower level prior to intense rain events or hurricanes.

The Town of Carolina Beach continues to search for options to dispose of material dredged from the Carolina Beach Lake in 2017 as part of a $2.7 million dollar project to create more capacity in the lake to hold storm runoff.

Dredging was suspended August 29th, 2017 when the U.S. Army demanded the Town stop hauling dirt to land leased to the Town since the 1970's for a wastewater treatment plant off Dow Road.  The Town was placing the dirt at an unapproved location on the property.

The Army operates the Military Ocean Terminal at Sunny Point (MOTSU) on the west side of the Cape Fear River and they are currently working with neighboring local governments regarding land use in the area. The terminal is one of two large volume deep-water ammunition terminals in the continental United States. Operations take place on the other side of the Cape Fear River in Brunswick County and the "buffer zone" occupies a large portion of Pleasure Island encompassing land in both Carolina Beach and Kure Beach on  the riverside of the Island.

That land is where the Town was depositing the dredge material. The Town previously had permission to dispose of the material in a limited area near the wastewater treatment plant. The Town late expanded that disposal area without getting permission from the Army.

Later, it was determined that some samples showed increased levels of arsenic in the dredged material which in later tests showed below normal levels.

The east side of the lake is more shallow than the western half that was dredged in 2017. The goal of that project was to make the lake deeper to a consistent depth of 6' to 8' feet and improve capacity to hold approximately 16 million gallons of storm water runoff that has traditionally caused flooding of surrounding properties and roadways. The total volume to be removed from the lake was estimated to be approximately 83,000 cubic yards of material. The original completion date for the project was scheduled for February 9th, 2018. When the project was suspended August 29th, the  contractor had removed approximately 30,000 cubic yards of material to the wastewater treatment plant.

While the Town continues to discuss options with the Army, a project began this week to extend a pipe connected to a large pump at the lake.

The existing pipe was set at a depth based on the previous shallow level. Since a large portion of the lake was dredged before the Army ordered the project to cease in 2017, the Town budgeted money in this years budget to extend the drainagee pipe to take advantage of the new depth in the west side of the lake.

Last week Town officials explained, "Staff and contractor have come to terms on the needed actions and cost, of the extension of the lake pump lines. This will allow for draining of the lake to an increased depth before rain events and better capitalize on the portion of dredge work that was completed. The work is scheduled for the next week. This project was approved as part of the 2019/2020 budget."

The Town continues discussions with the Army about resolving where the dredge material can be placed and is working on completing the dredging project for the remaining west side of the lake.

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