Sedimentation at Riverfront Park


Sedimentation is a serious water quality problem that can damage aquatic habitats, harm fish and other aquatic animal and plant communities and make navigation and recreational use and more difficult.  Runoff from construction activities is one of the leading causes of sedimentation in our area.

Not long ago Congaree Riverkeeper was alerted to a sedimentation problem on the Broad River near Riverfront Park and the Columbia Canal.  Upon investigating we found high amounts of sediment flowing from a stormwater tunnel directly into the river.  The tunnel is part of a system of tunnels more than 100 years old that run underneath the park and the city’s water treatment plant.  The investigation suggested that sediment from construction work at the water treatment plant was seeping into the tunnels and being flushed to the river. 

Congaree Riverkeeper met with DHEC officials to discuss the problem.  Both groups then approached the construction contractor with what we believed to be a simple yet effective solution; installing silt booms at the mouth of the tunnel.  The contractor agreed to install the booms and had them in place in a matter of days.  Follow up visits to the site have revealed greatly reduced amounts of sediment flowing to the river.  We commend the contractor, Pizzagalli Construction Company, for their quick action to help solve this problem.  This issue is an example of how working with the contractor and cooperating with agencies like DHEC can yield positive results for all parties.


Construction Activities at Columbia Water Treatment Plant


Booms and Curtain Installed to Prevent Sediment From Reaching the River