Pine Knoll Shores and the North Carolina Coastal Federation recently completed a project to reduce flooding and runoff in the town.
With the support of the North Carolina Land and Water Fund, the town and nonprofit organization had launched the effort, which included installing a series of pumps and perforated pipes to move groundwater from flood-prone residential areas to the Crystal Coast County Club golf course pond, where it is stored. Drawing down groundwater levels increases the capacity of the land to soak in the rain on site.
“The Town has been addressing flooding issues for decades. The normal practice has been to pump water into Bogue Sound, the canal, and the Atlantic. This water has been impacted by state highways, public roads, and septic fields,” said Pine Knoll Shores Town Manager Brian Kramer in a statement. “We now, with the federation’s help, have a means to reduce this by preemptively lowering the water table and creating greater capacity for infiltration. We have to deal with flooding issues to protect public health and property, and we now have it means to do it in an environmentally healthy way.”
The project also enables the town to preemptively pump down groundwater before large storms to prevent future flooding. A second pump at the golf course sends water to an infiltration basin and level spreader for large emergencies when the town needs to dewater the golf course ponds for storage.
Officials said reducing flooding greatly reduces the amount of pollution entering surface waters. The intent is to avoid using previous approaches that involved pumping surface water from flooded septic fields directly to adjacent waters, according to the federation.
Monitoring is planned to evaluate and fine tune the system and determine how the approach can be used in other communities.
“It’s great to work with such a committed partner to reduce large volumes of runoff,” said Bree Charron, coastal specialist with the federation.
The project was identified in the town’s watershed restoration plan developed in partnership with the federation and Eastern Carolina Council and adopted in 2019. The plan prioritizes projects to reduce the volume of stormwater runoff entering coastal waters.
It is also they type of restoration approach encouraged across the state in the recently released Nature-based Stormwater Strategies Action Plan that was unveiled in early March. Learn more at https://www.nccoast.org/
For more information on this project, please contact Bree Charron at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 252-393-8185.