City of Charleston to determine which drainage projects will split annual $1 million small project allocation

Published: Feb. 25, 2022 at 4:45 AM EST|Updated: Feb. 25, 2022 at 6:23 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - When you think of drainage projects in the City of Charleston, you might think of the big, multi-million dollar ones in the works, such as the stormwater drainage tunnel downtown. City officials, however, say there are plenty of small projects being completed that are making a big difference.

The city has a special allocation of funds for small drainage projects and the council is gearing up to determine what projects this year will be getting that money, Stormwater Management Director Matthew Fountain says.

The City of Charleston has $1 million set aside every year for small projects that each might cost $50,000 to $150,000 to improve and prevent flooding, according to Fountain.

Compared to the big projects that take years and cost millions, these smaller projects are completed in months but can make a noticeable improvement in flooding on one street or cul-de-sac, Fountain says. These projects could include installing new pipes and drainage systems.

“For normal people on a day-to-day basis, the flooding that impacts you is when your driveway is impassable or your sidewalk is flooded or there’s water in the street and people can’t get out of their cars,” he says. “It’s an easy win, in that it’s low cost, saves money in the long run and helps with quality of the life of the residents.”

The city just wrapped up a project on Johns Island with last year’s funding, which cost about $65,000, Fountain says. Now council will be deciding where this year’s money will be spent based on what issues they’ve seen this past year.

“We do receive basically maintenance requests and flooding issues from the public during the year,” Fountain says. “When we find one that’s more than basic maintenance that you can’t really do it with maintenance forces, we load that into this list of potential small projects that gets considered. We do have a list for this upcoming allocation that council will consider. We keep that list all during the list in preparation for the upcoming meeting.”

The community can report any drainage or flooding issues to the Citizens Service Desk online or by calling (843) 724- 7311.

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