Water and worse rise after the rain, residents say
Two residents of Trotters Ridge came before Dorchester County Council on Monday to complain about the flooding and sewer overflow in their neighborhood.
The county is using several methods to address the problem, staff members said.
After the meeting, County Administrator Jason Ward said the neighborhood hasn’t had the sewer overflow problem in a couple years because of work undertaken by the Water and Sewer Department. Photos of overflow being shown to council members were outdated, he said.
But the residents said they weren’t satisfied with the answers they got during the meeting.
Evyonne Thurman said she doesn’t care what the county does – she just wants the problem fixed.
About once a year, when there’s a hard rain, the water in front yards rises to three feet and in the back yards to four feet on Trotters Club Way, she said.
In some garages, the water rises two to three feet, she said.
Worse, at times raw sewage has shot up from the manhole cover in the middle of the road, she said.
“Toilet paper and human waste have floated in my yard,” she said.
The Thurmans bought their house in 2000, and at first there were no problems, she said. But since 2008 there have been floods every year, she said.
Jeanette Rehrig said she’s concerned about how the new development at Pine Forest Country Club will affect the neighborhood, which is down stream from Pine Forest.
Kristen Champagne, director of the Water and Sewer Department since June 2009, said she is working with the Pine Forest developer. That development was approved years ago and the county must abide by those agreements, she said; however, the developer agreed to realign two sections of pipe.
The county eliminated stormwater runoffs that illegally connected to the sewer system in Trotters Ridge, she said.
The county is also in the process of diverting 103,000 gallons of wastewater to the Summerville CPW, she said.
With these wastewater actions, the problem is primarily one of stormwater at this point, she said.
The stormwater problem is there because a couple of houses were built in the actual floodway, she said.
“You will have high water because they’re located in the creek bed,” she said.
Thurman said the county needs to clear Rumphs Hill Creek, which is full of silt.
Ward said the county is looking at what it can do with the creek. The creek is under the jurisdiction of the Army Corps of Engineers, however, and runs through both the unincorporated county and the town of Summerville, requiring coordination between the two local governments.
Brand-new Public Works Director Matt Halter walked the creek from Trotters Ridge to the area across from Summerset Acres to see what might be done, Ward said.
County staff is already in contact with town staff about seeking approval from the Army Corps for work on Rumphs Hill Creek, he said.