The Calhoun County Planning Commission gave the O.K. today for Hurricane Builders to continue construction on the Tall Pines Subdivision. The project was placed on hold when prospective home sites failed the perk test necessary to gain approval to install septic systems. This happened just as Phase 1 of the construction project was completed leaving the site bare to the eroding effects of the late spring and early summer rains.
One such event caused surface water to wash over the bare soil causing a great deal of erosion, clogging the culverts at the project access point along Hwy 176, and sheeting the highway with enough surface water to cause several cars to hydroplane. Fortunately there were no injuries; but adjacent properties were flooded, including one garage. Barriers were erected after this to stop surface water run-off and sediment from entering the roadside culvert and onto the road. They were largely ineffective in our wetter than usual summer.
Contract engineers with Hussey Gay Bell worked closely with SCDHEC to find solutions to the septic system and surface water run-off issues. There were a number of concerned and affected residents at the meeting seeking reassurances that the proposed fixes would work.
The septic system issue will be resolved by installing a septic tank equipped with a pump for each home built. The sewage from each home would then be pumped into a larger tank with an appropriately sized drain field. SCDHEC has required Hurricane Builders to put “well over $100,000” into an account earmarked for repairing any septic system failures. Part of the funds will also be used to have the system periodically inspected.
The surface water run-off will be handled by a series of pipes and swells which will divert the water to a quality pond which will then trap grease and oil so that the contaminants aren’t discharged into the SCDOT culverts along Hwy 176.
Hurricane Builders will begin Phase 2 as soon as possible. The initial focus will be on stabilizing the site to prevent further erosion and to protect Hwy 176 and surrounding properties from surface water flooding.
Though some of the residents are skeptical that the plan will work they are certainly hopeful.