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Progress: Wayne Community College wetland rehab

Environmental, Neuse River Watershed, Stormwater, Stormwater Issues, Stormwater Restoration Projects, Stormwater Runoff, Water Quality, Wetlands

Posted on December 14th, 2023

The earth is moving at Wayne Community College.

Sound Rivers Program Director Clay Barber was on the site of the wetland restoration this week, checking in on progress made by Backwater Environmental.

“They’ve almost got all the sediment removed, and they trimmed all the banks and berms of overgrown vegetation and trees. They’re kind of reshaping it to what it’s supposed to be shaped as — it’s gotten quite deformed over the years,” Clay said. “They tried to leave as much good vegetation as possible with the equipment they’re working with — for example, some cedar trees that are not in the way and rushes around the perimeter.”

The sediment being removed from the now defunct, soon-to-be repaired wetland will stay on campus, to be used for various repair work.

As with many projects on this scale, construction staff encountered the unexpected in a washed-out area that, if it hadn’t been caught, could have jeopardized nearby infrastructure.

“They’re repairing a hole behind the outlet structure. At some point, water just found its way around this concrete structure and hollowed out around the drain pipe under the right of way to a sidewalk and the highway,” Clay said. “That’s important for safety, obviously, but it also wasn’t allowing the wetland to stay full to a desired depth, which also caused vegetation to grow in wrong places — so it didn’t function as designed.”

Next steps for the wetland include planting 900 stems of native wetland species.

On another part of the campus, the concrete pad for a rainwater harvester has been poured at the Deacon Jones Automotive Center. Installation of the 5,000-gallon harvester will be completed before the end of the year.

A hole behind the wetland’s outlet structure is currently being repaired.
Overgrown, non-wetland species were cleared from the area to make room for 900 new plants perfect for a functioning wetland.

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