Drainage project: Dewatering brings renewed fears of sinkholes

  • Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Will new sinkholes form in the city when water is removed from the ground in order to complete the drainage project?
That is a question that is expected to be answered beginning next week when the dewatering process resumes.
According to the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT), the sealing and grouting operations at the wet well at the corner of Front and Dozier Streets are now being completed.
It is anticipated that dewatering will begin next week and is currently scheduled to begin on Wednesday. As with any construction operation, delays due to weather or other factors could impact this schedule.  
If changes to this schedule occur, additional updates will be provided prior to beginning the dewatering operations,” a SCDOT press release states.
“An extensive monitoring plan will be implemented during the dewatering.  
The monitoring plan includes real time analysis of water levels and pressure from monitoring wells installed throughout the project area.  Stop points have been identified so that the dewatering can be halted immediately if necessary.”
The dewatering was halted in November after several sinkholes formed in the areas around where the drainage project is taking place.
One building — Parrish Place — was destroyed when it collapsed into one of the holes. Other buildings were also damaged.
Before the water removal was stopped, about 60,000 gallons of water per hour was being removed from the ground. SCDOT leaders have not said if the water will be removed at that same rate when the process resumes.

By Scott Harper

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