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Back You are here: Home News Local and State News Local Carolina Beach Submits Proposal To Army To Dredge Carolina Beach Lake; Put Material Near Sewer Plant

Carolina Beach Submits Proposal To Army To Dredge Carolina Beach Lake; Put Material Near Sewer Plant

Pictured above: The Carolina Beach Lake overflowed in 2010 into surrounding areas following an intense rainstorm. The Town of Carolina Beach is requesting permission from the U.S. Army to place dredge material from the lake on an abandoned area at the wastewater treatment plant.

Managing Editor

CAROLINA BEACH - The Town of Carolina Beach has long planned to dredge the shallow Carolina Beach Lake on Lake Park Blvd near the downtown area.
Over the years the lake has served as a drainage basin for rain runoff from surrounding acres and during intense storms can overflow flooding area streets and properties.
On January 31, Brian Stanberry - Director of Public Works for the Town - sent a letter to Michael Fuller with the U.S. Army's Military Ocean Terminal at Sunny Point.
The Town leased land from the Army in the 1970's to build a wastewater treatment plant off Dow Road in the Army's "buffer zone."
The "buffer zone" is land taken by the military in the 1950’s for the Military Ocean Terminal at Sunny Point (MOTSU) across the Cape Fear River in Brunswick County.
The port is the largest of it’s kind in the world dealing in storage and transportation of explosive munitions.
The buffer zone serves as a "blast zone" in the event of an incident. That zone covers the largest area of land west of Dow Road in Carolina Beach, Kure Beach and Fort Fisher.
In the letter written by Town Planning Director Ed Parvin, it states, "Please accept this letter as a formal request by the Town of Carolina Beach to restore the abandoned equalization basin, located at the Town Waste Treatment Plant, through the utilization of spoil material created by the dredging of Carolina Beach Lake.  Carolina Beach Lake is an 11.5 acre storm water pond, located within the southern section of the Town of Carolina Beach."
The letter states, "The lake is located on the western side of US 421/South Lake Park Boulevard and the land use in the surrounding area is primarily residential with a small portion of undeveloped land abutting the southern edge of the lake. The lake receives stormwater from a 252 acre area. With an average depth of around two feet, there are no prior records of any official dredge work completed at the lake. Sediment has filled in a good portion of the lake, reducing the stormwater volume and creating flooding hazard.  The shallow depth is also a challenge to the water quality within the lake and aesthetics of the surrounding area."
The Town is proposing to dredge the lake and pump the spoil material, via 3,500 linear feet of pipeline, to the abandoned equalization basin that is located in the southwest portion of the Waste Water Treatment Plant site, on U.S. Army property.
An equalization basin is a pond used for storing wastewater when plant inflow exceeds treatment capacity during peak times.
The letter states, "The abandoned portion of this basin can contain approximately 40,055 cubic yards of material.  The estimated volume of material to be removed from Carolina Beach Lake is 37,015 cubic yards, which should fill the void within the abandoned basin. Once the material has had the proper time to dry, it would then be covered with spoil material from the Wilmington Beach Ponds that is currently present onsite.  The Town of Carolina Beach is proposing this as a solution to the restoration of the EQ Basin, as well as a viable method of disposing of the spoil from the Lake Dredging Project." 
Parvin explained in the letter, "The Town is currently partnered with Soil and Environmental Consultants to work through permits with the various agencies involved, including US Army Corps of Engineers(USACE), the NC Division of Water Quality(NC DWQ) 401 Unit, NCDWQ Coastal Stormwater Unit and the NC Division of Coastal Management(DCM)."
He explained, "If this request is within reason and meets with your approval, this would greatly help facilitate discussions and permits with the other governing agencies, going forward."
In this year's budget for fiscal year 2012-2013, the budget states the, "Town is exploring the feasibility, permitting and cost of a project to remove sediment from the Lake, stabilize the shoreline and add additional pumping capacity. The estimated cost of this project is $1,750,000 to $2 million."
The budget lists potential debt service at $225,000 a year over ten years.
The Town Council is in the early stages of planning for the 2013-2014 budget which will likely include discussions on any such project.
The Carolina Beach Lake has historically flooded during intense periods of rainfall and hurricanes when storm surge can cause the marina to rise adding water through area drainage pipes connecting the lake to the municipal marina on Canal Drive.
The Town has a pump station located at the lake used to lower the level in anticipation of a storm. That water is pumped to an old ditch that leads to the Cape Fear River west of the Island.
When the lake floods, area sewer lines back up and water can be seen coming up from manhole covers.
Previous administrations have contacted state and federal representatives but to-date no such dredging project has been conducted.