Planning phase: stormwater projects at Vance Granville Community College

Environmental, Sound Rivers, Stormwater, Stormwater Issues, Stormwater Restoration Projects, Stormwater Runoff, Tar-Pamlico Watershed

Posted on April 13th, 2023

Program Director Clay Barber stands next a tree whose roots have been exposed by erosion from stormwater runoff on the Vance Granville Community College Campus.

They’ve got an erosion problem at Vance Granville Community College and Sound Rivers’ Program Director Clay Barber is eyeing solutions.

Clay and intern William Wallace visited the campus this week to get a feel for potential stormwater projects to be funded by a 2021 Environmental Enhancement Grant. What they found was three separate gullies where fast-moving runoff has caused major erosion.

“There’s a pond on campus, and one of the edges of that pond is a dam. The erosion is on the other side of that dam. They’ve sent half the campus’ stormwater off to a few areas with steep grades, and that’s just asking for problems,” Clay said. “On the main part of the campus, they’re in good shape. They’re turf management is great. They’ve got long, luscious grass that you can tell was recently mowed but still long, so it’s absorbing more water and preventing stormwater from funneling into places with all that erosion.”

But it’s all the rain flowing off of large parking lots and roads used for the school’s commercial truck driver draining, combined with a steep slope and the fact that the school is old enough that it likely was built without incorporating permitted stormwater measurements that add up to an erosion problem.

“There’s one area where they tried to fix a big gully with rocks, and it just goes around and over those rocks,” Clay said, adding that Kris Bass Engineering will likely start working on possible fixes for three washed-out gullies.

One of those potential fixes is a step-pool conveyance system, or SPCS. An SPCS uses mini-pools that step-down in elevation, slowing down the water by allowing each successive pool to fill up, spread the water out and soak into the ground, before spilling over into the next pool.



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