Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Carolina Beach’s wastewater treatment pipe at risk from boats and debris

A wastewater treatment pipe in Carolina Beach extends almost 600-feet into the water (Port City Daily photo/COURTESY CB)
A wastewater treatment pipe in Carolina Beach extends almost 600-feet into the water (Port City Daily photo / COURTESY CAROLINA BEACH)

CAROLINA BEACH — A wastewater treatment pipe that has saved the Town of Carolina Beach money is at risk of being damaged if preventative measures are not taken to protect it from storm damage and floating trees, according to Public Director of Operations Gil DuBois.  DuBois on Tuesday briefed the Town Council on several infrastructure issues the town is currently working on.

The 580-foot in length wastewater discharge pipe has optimized the mixing of transitional water and wastewater.

“By doing this, we submitted to the state, after we got through a revised permit recommendation to lower our testing requirements that has saved us literally thousands of dollars this year … What we invested was for a good purpose,” DuBois said.

But the town’s investment has been at risk from damage as well DuBois said, several boats have run into the pipe, leading the town to install reflective material on PVC pipes extending from the main pipe to help with visibility – but boats are not the only danger to the pipe.

Storms, have caused debris, including large trees that wash downstream, which ends up getting stuck on the pipe and causing more trouble for the town. The trees end up wedging themselves under the pipe and lifting the concrete pilings, allowing sand to fill in the space below, DuBois said.

Trees and other debris have caused problems with the wastewater treatment pipe in Carolina Beach (Port City Daily photo/COURTESY CB)
Trees and other debris have caused problems with the wastewater treatment pipe in Carolina Beach (Port City Daily photo/COURTESY CB)

“If we don’t do something to protect it, it’s going to damage an investment we have made here on the beach,” he said.

Currently, town staff is looking for designs that will, “… address the security of the pipe and concrete bases … Devices must be installed to protect the pipe and bases from damage and possible alignment that will impact the performance of our discharge pipes,” according to DuBois’ presentation.

DuBois said the staff is looking into the installation of a debris boom, which would actually catch any debris that makes it way down the waterway, preventing it from hitting the pipe.

While the Town Council did not make any decisions during the workshop, the issue is likely to be brought back to the council for recommendation in the future.


Michael Praats can be reached at Michael.p@localvoicemedia.com

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