2024 South Carolina Association for Hazard Mitigation (SCAHM) Presentations

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Revolutionizing Stormwater Management: The First Dune Infiltration System in South Carolina

Marc Horstman, PE, PH, BC.WRE | 1:30pm

Residents and visitors of Folly Beach are currently grappling with traffic disruption at the intersection of 10th Street and East Arctic Avenue due to water ponding after moderate rainfall events. The solution? A groundbreaking Dune Infiltration System (DIS) as part of a pilot study at Folly Beach’s public beach access.

The proposed DIS aims to mitigate flooding issues along E. Arctic Avenue following moderate rainfall, enhancing traffic flow and public safety. This innovative system comprises key components, including approximately 25 LF of 18″ reinforced concrete pipe (RCP), a standard SCDOT catch-basin, a compact pump with a wet well, 100 LF of a 2″ polyvinyl chloride (PVC) force main, and 180 LF of 4″ perforated PVC.

An integral facet of the project involves strategically installing the perforated PVC beneath the existing boardwalk, minimizing visual impact while maximizing functionality. Additionally, an electrical control panel for pump operations ensures seamless and efficient management of the system.

This initiative represents the inaugural implementation of a DIS in South Carolina, marking a significant stride in sustainable stormwater management practices. Beyond its innovative engineering, the project demonstrates a cost-effective approach by utilizing city-owned property, setting a precedent for similar regional endeavors.

WK Dickson’s pilot study addresses a pressing urban challenge. It establishes a model for municipalities to leverage existing assets for sustainable stormwater solutions, underlining the potential for transformative impacts on infrastructure resilience and environmental stewardship.

Planning with a Purpose: Creating a Roadmap for Resilience in Your Community

Lisa Wells, PE, CFM | 1:30pm

The floodgates are opening (pun intended) on more funding opportunities than ever before for stormwater projects. The need for Stormwater Master Plans has never been greater. But cookie-cutter plans with a rigid approach that don’t consider your community’s unique aspects—in history, development type, politics, citizen priorities, and other system and program stressors—are money down the drain (you see what I did there?). The maturity and complexity of your program should also guide the development of this roadmap.

Before you embark on modeling and master plans and capital improvement projects, take a moment to plan for the plan. The time spent establishing clear goals and priorities and identifying roadblocks will ensure a right-sized approach to this significant investment. You can have a plan that will flow easily through the necessary channels of your local government and funding opportunities AND that you can rely upon but also build upon for years to come.

We will share stories from your neighbors that each began with unique goals and developed tailored outcomes to meet the needs and priorities of their community. We will also share some discrete steps, such as the first ones, as you embark on your own Master Plan journey.


Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Planning with a Purpose: Meeting Myrtle Beach’s Goals for Stormwater Improvements and Bacterial Removal

Tom Murray, PE, CFM | 8:30am

WK Dickson is teamed up with the City of Myrtle Beach to develop a citywide watershed master plan covering 23 square miles of our coastal area. This project represents a crucial step toward sustainable stormwater management, ensuring the protection of our natural environment and the safety of our community, including residents, visitors, and local businesses.

Central to this initiative is the challenge of balancing flood mitigation with the need to improve stormwater quality, a vital aspect for preserving the health of our coastal ecosystem. The Withers Basin, encompassing 3.19 square miles, served as the initial focus, setting a solid foundation for extending these efforts across the entire city.

The approach taken by WK Dickson was to prioritize each watershed based on several criteria, such as its use for recreation, water quality, and history of flooding. The aim was to devise targeted plans that not only reduce the risk and impact of flooding but also address specific water quality issues, particularly concerning bacterial contamination.

The master plan envisions a series of projects designed to work with nature to address these challenges. Ideas include the creation and enhancement of stormwater wetlands, reconnection of floodplains, implementation of green infrastructure, improvement of dune infiltration, and stream restoration. These initiatives are intended to integrate flood management with natural water quality improvements, reflecting a commitment to eco-friendly solutions.

Each watershed’s plan is structured to align with the EPA’s 9-step 319 process, facilitating the pursuit of funding for these important projects. The City of Myrtle Beach has already started implementing the first project from the Withers Basin Plan, marking an important milestone in our journey toward a more resilient and environmentally conscious community. This project isn’t just about managing stormwater; it’s about taking proactive steps to ensure a sustainable future for Myrtle Beach.

Planning with a Purpose: Meeting Georgetown’s Goals for Stormwater Improvements and Targeted Enhancements in the Historic District

Earl Bingham, PE, GISP | 10:30am

As a community that has faced numerous flooding events throughout its history, the City of Georgetown commissioned a Stormwater Master Plan as a strategic initiative to address flooding in flood-prone areas, protect property and the natural environment, and enhance water quality. As flood mitigation in targeted areas was the primary concern, a detailed water quantity analysis for existing and future conditions was performed using EPA’s stormwater management model (SWMM). More than ten critical drainage systems were analyzed within the model, with proposed improvement alternatives being developed for each. This analysis formed the basis for a decision matrix for capital investments for flood mitigation projects and recommendations for improving the operation and maintenance of its existing facilities and infrastructure. Recommendations included infrastructure improvements, structural and non-structural BMPs, preservation, restoration, critical area protection, public education, and O&M procedures. A comprehensive master plan was developed to guide the phasing and implementation of the capital investments.

The prioritized CIP list aided the city in obtaining federal funding, and WK Dickson is completing design and permitting services for the first three projects. The Historic District Stormwater System Improvements will allow the City of Georgetown to address the capacity of an old and undersized stormwater system, improve the safety of its citizens, and ensure the historic district can continue to develop as a key draw for economic development in the city. The three projects collectively include the design of more than 5,500 LF of storm drainage pipes with catch basins, manholes, outlet structures, tidal gate valves, and a 210-foot marine bulkhead. Each project includes new concrete sidewalks, curb and gutter, and asphalt restoration with traffic and pedestrian control.