Community News Catoosa approves stormwater project to alleviate flooding concerns

Community News Catoosa approves stormwater project to alleviate flooding concerns

October 4th, 2017 by Shane Foley in Community North Georgia
Catoosa County Stormwater Director James Davis points out details in satellite-based flood maps for the county in this file photo.

Catoosa County Stormwater Director James Davis points out...

Photo by Andy Johns /Times Free Press.

The Catoosa Board of Commissioners approved a $460,000 stormwater contract at their Sept. 19 meeting that will solve flooding and standing water issues in The Meadows, Morris Estates and on Everett Road.

County Stormwater Director James Davis said the issues primarily stem from older stormwater systems in the subdivisions that are failing after decades of use. In Morris Estates, for example, the metal pipes originally installed throughout the neighborhood are rusting and corroding, creating sinkholes and stormwater leakage.

"As far as development goes, if you compare building back then to now, it's just black and white," Davis said. "So much has advanced in stormwater management, from how it's designed to what materials are used."

The project was awarded to Baker Construction from Rossville, and the funds are coming from the 2014 SPLOST. While there are no plans to construct anything as large as a retention pond, Davis said the bid includes plans to replace the failing pipe system in the three neighborhoods with modern concrete or plastic pipes and install catch basins to help prevent the flooding issues that residents complained about in the first place.

Davis said they don't yet have a planned start date for construction, and that a meeting will be held between his department and engineers within the next few weeks to hammer out a schedule.

"We really want to set the start date as soon as possible," he said. "The earlier, the better for us."

The work to replace the stormwater infrastructure could take longer as winter hits, due to cold temperatures and inclement weather inhibiting the contractors. And the longer the wait, the greater risk of damage to the roads in and around the neighborhoods. Davis said standing water can get into the roads' base, compromising their structural integrity. As of now, though, he said his department hasn't found signs that enough damage has been done to warrant any road work in the area.

Davis said the subdivisions built in the 1970s and 1980s, like the affected communities, had much weaker stormwater regulations to follow when they were constructed, and his department's investigation of the site revealed that french drains or buried pipes connected to downspouts and gutters flow into the storm drains, which accelerated how quickly the ground became saturated and the pipes degraded.

"That definitely led to the speeding-up of the deterioration of those pipes," he said.

Anyone in more modern homes who wants to hook up a downspout or something similar to the stormwater system should contact his department to discuss the possible solutions.

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