Beach Runoff to go Underground

Dec. 4, 2007
Runoff from the beach to the ocean will no longer be a problem in Virginia Beach

Virginia Beach, Va., has seen the not-so-picturesque channeling of water into the Atlantic Ocean—“not so” because the water is storm water runoff. Not only that, but it is pooling in the sand of the North End and is the suspected cause of four beach closures in the past two seasons.

Luckily, this problem will end soon as $9.3 million are being spent to install 2,300 ft of underground pipe, scheduled to be finished by this time next year. This piping will funnel the runoff 1,800 ft offshore; the construction is the final phase of the city’s $145 million hurricane protection plan. The city’s coastal engineer, Phillip Roehrs, said storm water used to pool all along the oceanfront, and the hurricane protection project has eliminated all but this last beach.

Roehrs is concerned about the puddles of runoff on the beach because they can be full of bacteria that can transfer to the children that often play in them, which in turn can transfer to the ocean.

Construction work is taking place on a dune, which should decrease traffic on nearby Atlantic Avenue. The dune has been graded and covered with stone in an effort to give construction trucks a place to drive. Roehrs has committed to rebuilding the dune when the project is completed.

Source: The Virginian-Pilot; Norfolk, Va.