Pond may help with flooding and river water in Beaufort County

Pond may help with flooding and river water in Beaufort County

BEAUFORT COUNTY, S.C. (WTOC) - Lowcountry leaders are hoping one project is the answer to two problems - street flooding and cleaner water in the Okatie River.

And that’s good news for oyster harvesters.

Ponds cover Beaufort County, that’s important because they help prevent flooding across the county. But now the county is trying to build a new pond to give relief to the entire county.

Beaufort County hosted a public meeting Friday to give details on a new project that will impact thousands of residents, even though at first glance, it might not seem like it.

This new pond is expected to reduce pollution and flooding for the entire region.

The 3.5 acre pond will be around 9 feet deep, and filter water as it comes through before it is pushed into the Okatie River.

This process will reduce algae blooms caused by nitrogen and phosphorus, and, most importantly to the planners, create conditions where the county support more shellfish harvesting.

“The location of the project is in the Okatie River. Currently, the shellfish in the Okatie River, the harvesting is restricted. So, the goal of the project is, one of the reasons of the project, is to improve the water quality of the Okatie River so that the oyster beds and harvesting can be reopened," said Dan Rybak, Beaufort County Stormwater Manager.

He says the improved water quality will also improve opportunities for boating and natural resource availability. The new retention pond will be built just below Highway 170 next to Sun City’s back entrance.

Construction will begin in October and will be completed by November of 2021. They say they know it’s not pretty when it’s being built, but they hope people will be excited for the final product.

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