From The Blog

KICA’s Annual Drainage Work Wraps Up in West Beach Next Week

Did you know that the community association invests approximately $1 million annually in an ongoing effort to maintain and repair existing drainage infrastructure? As a barrier island subject to tidal flow and storms, control of water levels through the island’s drainage system is critical. Pipe repairs also have a direct correlation with island road repairs, which are often related to the deterioration of the old metal pipes beneath them. About 90% of emergency road repairs are related to metal pipe failure. In 2018, a change in the way KICA budgets for drainage repairs was made to set up an annual commitment for pipe replacement on the island, meaning that the Major Repairs & Replacements Department can be proactive in this effort.

The old metal piping not only reduces the effectiveness of the island’s drainage system, but exacerbates problems by introducing sentiment into the system. Sentiment goes “downhill,” resulting in less than optimum drainage capacity throughout the entire system. A new pipe will solve that issue, but in a mature area may be disruptive to install.  

Over the past several  weeks, work took place on Greensward Road to create new concrete pipes inside older deteriorated metal through a process called spin casting. A cementitious material is spun at 9000 PSI and mixed with a strong adhesive. Then, using a centrifugal pump, the material, called Centricast, is slowly spun into the pipe where it then sticks, coating the interior surface. When dry, it becomes a new cement pipe without joints. The new pipes are structurally stable, don’t reduce capacity in the larger pipes and don’t degrade even in a saltwater environment. This method is preferred for Kiawah’s larger pipes, typically 36, 48 and 54 inch diameters. The use of spin-casting has saved KICA significant money and repair time on these larger pipes, while maintaining pipe capacities. 

The work underway on Greensward Road will repair metal pipes that are deteriorated between ponds. Because drainage from pond to pond is an essential part of how KICA’s gravity-based drainage system works, the repair is intended to restore optimum flow in this part of the system. Members in the area will have noticed two aqua dams in place, as the pipes are dewatered before the repair. The repair will not be visible to members but that’s part of the plan. The new pipes created using this process are “the best case scenario” because roadways, easements and even fairways don’t need to be disturbed to replace these old metal pipes. 

This work will begin next week and is expected to be complete by Monday, Dec. 12.