From The Blog

Significant Drainage Improvements Complete at Greensward and Surfwatch

Above: a cure-in-place pipe is closed at one end and filled with steam to harden the liner at Greensward Road in 2021.

As a barrier island, KICA’s ability to efficiently move water off Kiawah through its drainage system is critical. Last week, KICA completed its drainage work in the Greensward Road and Surfwatch Drive area of West Beach. The project concludes three years of work in the area with the overall goal of repairing existing lines, improving stormwater flow throughout the system, and extending the life of the infrastructure. This work highlights an important association commitment: each year, KICA allocates and invests approximately $1 million dollars to use for drainage improvements. As one of the oldest sections of development on the island, the drainage in the West Beach area can also be some of the oldest. Much of this work, like the work done in the Greensward area, is proactive repair that improves functionality before problems occur.

The Greensward Road drainage repair has been completed in several phases over three years. Last week, the final drainage lines along Greensward Road and Surfwatch Drive were completed. This project should result in efficiency improvements in the overall drainage system, as well as avoid costly surprise repairs.

KICA typically uses two processes to line pipes: CIPP (cure in place pipe) lining and spin-casting The CIPP-lining process creates a new pipe within an old degraded metal pipe. The old pipe remains in place, but with a new, structurally stable pipe inside. Larger pipes were repaired using the spin-casting method: cementitious material is spun at 9000 PSI and mixed with a strong adhesive. Then, using a centrifugal pump, the material is slowly spun into the pipe where it then sticks, coating the interior surface. When dry, it becomes a new cement pipe without joints. This method is preferred for Kiawah’s larger pipes, typically 36, 48 and 54 inch diameters. These methods have saved KICA significant money and repair time, while maintaining pipe capacities. The new pipes are structurally stable, don’t reduce capacity in the larger pipes and don’t degrade even in a saltwater environment. It’s also the best case scenario for members because no pipes need to be dug up for work to be completed. For the 2023 phase of this project, six pipes were lined using the CIPP-lining process and two larger pipes were spincast. This final phase of the project cost just under $500,000.

In 2022, KICA continued work on the connections between two ponds (6 and 13) that had deteriorated and completed work along Conifer Lane and Oyster Rake Drive. 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. Project cost totals were close to $500,000.

In 2021, repairs were made to pipes that undercross the Kiawah Island Parkway from Oyster Rake Drive, as well as one of the connections between Pond 6 and Pond 13. This repair was completed for nearly $700,000 ($50,000 under the original budget due to deploying the projects together).

In total, this three-year project has cost $1.2 million, but has resulted in significant efficiency improvements to the Beachwalker Drainage Basin, the island’s second largest.