Southern Nash next in line for stormwater projects

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

Posted on April 18th, 2024

Southern Nash Principal Hugh Scott (left) and Agricultural Mechanics Advisor Reuben Ledbetter view options for rainwater harvesting cistern on a building near a campus greenhouse.

Sound Rivers Program Director Clay Barber visited Southern Nash High School this week — a first step in putting some green stormwater infrastructure on campus.

As part of Sound Rivers’ Campus Stormwater Program, and funded by a 2020 Environmental Enhancement Grant, Kris Bass Engineering did assessments on three Nash County public schools (Southern Nash, along with Northern Nash and Rocky Mount high schools), recommending projects to resolve stormwater runoff issues.

“Southern Nash was the first to schedule a site visit to discuss potential projects,” Clay said. “We looked at two potential rain garden sites and two rainwater harvesting cistern options. We also checked out a place where a regenerative stormwater conveyance system could be implemented next to the bus parking lot. They’ve got severe erosion from channelized water because they have hard soils that don’t drain well, lots of elevation and really big pine trees — the soil is eroding around the tree roots.”

Stormwater runoff has undermined tree roots adjacent to the bus parking lot.

Clay was joined on the walk around campus by Southern Nash Principal Hugh Scott, CTE Career Development Coordinator Brandy Frazier, Horticulture-Companion Animal Care Advisor Mike Bartholomew, Animal Science Advisor Kristina Brake, Agricultural Mechanics Advisor Reuben Ledbetter, Equine Science-Vet Assisting Advisor Allison Mangum and Sustainable Ag Advisor Lisandra Mejia.

Built in the late 1960s, like most schools, Southern Nash was not required to include stormwater control measures. Clay said his next step is to follow up with the engineer and contractor to nail down projects and locations, and hopefully begin work in late summer. The construction projects are funded by a grant from the Cummins Rocky Mount Engine Plant. 

A gully where stormwater flows off campus shows the need to slow runoff down and spread it out so it can soak in, not erode the campus.

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