Our Lakes, More Than a Pretty Sight

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by the Town of Surfside Beach

Many residents do not realize the lakes in town are water features that are not only an attractive addition to our town, but also serve to control flooding during storms. The Storm Water Committee is one of six statutory committees required by South Carolina State Law. Committee volunteers work with the town’s Public Works Department to monitor the condition of the water in the lakes in Surfside Beach.

The committee’s function is to develop complimentary strategies for managing the town storm water systems through public education, outreach, and participation. The committee hosts two free annual education seminars in the council chambers. These seminars allow the public to learn about our storm water system through hands on exhibits. The committee members and professionals are there to answer questions and give advice on managing storm water.

Twice a month, our lakes are inspected for water quality and debris. These lakes retain storm runoff so the water discharge can be controlled and cleaned before it is released into the ocean. The lake water is inspected for such things as bacteria, dissolved oxygen, suspended solids, and nitrogen nutrients. Silt runoff from construction sites can affect water flow and affects nitrogen levels in the water. The wild waterfowl in town are interesting to watch, but their excrement adds bacteria to the water. Excess fertilization of your lawn raises the nitrogen levels. The monitoring system enables the town to reduce pollution by finding the causes of these changes, and fixing it where possible.

A bathymetric study of the town’s larger lakes is beginning. The topography of the lake beds and the volume of water in the lakes is being measured and recorded. This data is important in determining if and when the town needs to dredge the lakes. We need to be prepared for future storms and town growth.

Te town needs and appreciates its volunteers. Next time there is a vacancy on a committee; won’t you please consider giving your time and talent to your town? Surfside Beach: in the middle of it all!

To read more from our Surfside Beach section, click here!

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