PINE KNOLL SHORES — The North Carolina Coastal Federation and Town of Pine Knoll Shores are beginning an innovative project in Pine Knoll Shores to reduce flooding and protect local water quality.
Portions of the east end of Town have historically flooded after heavy rains. The area’s high water table coupled with roads and driveways reduce the amount of rain that can soak into the ground. Instead, the water ponds and causes localized flooding.
With a grant from the N.C. Clean Water Management Trust Fund, the project will engineer a system of pumps and drainage lines that will increase the infiltration of stormwater by lowering the water table so it can soak into the sandy soils below.
“Pine Knoll Shores is excited to work with the federation to move water off our streets in an efficient and environmentally sound way,” said Brian Kramer, Pine Knoll Shores Town Manager. “This is really important to us.”
The project aims to restore the capability of the soil to infiltrate average rain events. The innovative system will use the Country Club golf course ponds to temporarily store runoff and then direct it to a sand filter where it can soak into the ground. With this new project, the Town will be able to draw down the water table prior to predicted storm events and in turn to reduce flooding. This will be a great improvement over the Town’s current management approach of pumping floodwater to the sound to remedy emergency flooding.
“The project greatly improves resilience and environmental stewardship by increased infiltration of stormwater runoff during normal rain events and enhancing the ability of the Town to pump stormwater from flooding areas during tropical storm events to stormwater ponds or infiltration basins,” said project engineer, Larry Sneeden.
“The goal of the project is to decrease instances of flooding, and in turn the need to pump water into Bogue Sound. This will reduce the amount of bacteria infected stormwater reaching the sound. We’re excited to be involved with a project that seeks to solve a problem facing many barrier island communities,” said Bree Charron, coastal specialist for the federation. “The Town of Pine Knoll Shores has been extremely proactive in tackling stormwater issues that will benefit water quality.”
This project will help implement the Town’s watershed restoration plan that was developed by the Town and approved this year by the N.C. Division of Water Resources. The plan provides a road map for how the town can reduce the impacts of stormwater runoff throughout the community.
The project team will be working on the final stormwater system design this winter and construct the project in 2020.
For more information on the federation’s work to improve water quality, visit nccoast.org/stormwater.