The community has a Property & Grounds Committee that inspects and monitors all landscaping, utility and mechanical systems as well as buildings located on common areas in the Sun City Community. They are also responsible for the inspection of property and grounds pre-transfer from the Developer, to include a recommendation on the status of applicable assets to the Board and Executive Director of the Community Association.
Questions for the P&G committee:
1. Are underground pipes connecting the lagoons clogged with silt? Hint: run a camera thru them--that will tell. this service has been available for years.
2. Is it possible to achieve normal water level as shown on the plans in all lagoons, or are some of them constructed so water runs out the perimeter before water reaches the normal water level shown on the plans? Hint: take elevations--nothing new here. Picture a bowl. You want water in the bowl to be at elevation 15.0. but, if the rim of the bowl is at elevation 14.5, then, needless to say, you'll never get water in the bowl to elevation 15.0.
3. Should the lagoons have freeboard (perimeter elevations that are one foot or more above the normal water level (elevation)? This may take a little research--what is local accepted practice? what is universal "good practice"?
I'll keep you posted.
Via “contact us” on DHEC’s website (http://www.scdhec.net/) :
I am a retired civil engineer living in Sun City Hilton Head. After an October 19, 2007 article in The Island Packet (http://www.islandpacket.com/news/local/story/57836.html) I contacted Rick McCollough and we surveyed a few lagoons in Sun City. We found: (1) elevations taken on the rims of two lagoons are 0.5 feet lower than the normal water elevations shown on the plans (2) huge amounts of silt clogging several lagoons and pipes connecting them.
My questions are:
1. Is DHEC aware that some lagoons in Sun City Hilton Head are not built according to plans?
2. Is DHEC aware that some lagoons in Sun City are filled with silt?
3. Is DHEC aware that some pipes connecting lagoons in Sun City either do not exist or are clogged with silt and nonfunctional?
4. What does DHEC intend to do about these lagoons, if anything?
As a resident of SCHH I am very concerned that we residents will be stuck with huge costs for dredging and fixing these lagoons and for correcting design and/or construction deficiencies when these costs should rightfully be borne by the developer, Pulte Homes.
I look forward to your contacting me with responses to my questions.
By MICHAEL WELLES SHAPIROmshapiro@islandpacket.com843-706-8142
Published Thursday, June 19, 2008
A Pulte official said Wednesday the company does not agree with the findings, but says it wants to cooperate with the state agency. Jon Cherry, a Pulte Homes spokesman, did not provide details of how that would work.
DHEC sent a letter to Pulte stating lagoons in the Aster Fields, Murray Hill and Basket Walk neighborhoods were built or maintained in ways that don't comply with state environmental laws. Pulte received the letter Wednesday.
According to the letter, DHEC staffers examined complaints from Sun City residents on four separate occasions between September 2007 and April 2008.
In the letter, DHEC says it found that:
• Eight lagoons were not built according to plans approved by the agency.
• Drains in two lagoons were not being properly maintained.
• Water from a wetland was flowing into two lagoons.
• Sediment was building up in two lagoons.
The letter also calls for a June 26 "enforcement conference" in Columbia between DHEC and Pulte.
Cherry said the company has been working with DHEC, and although it disagrees with the allegations, the company will attend the conference and continue to work toward a solution.
"We're going to do the right thing," he said. "There's some kind of conference they want us to go to, and we'll go there and work through it."
A DHEC spokeswoman said the agency doesn't comment on ongoing enforcement proceedings or possible penalties, but she did describe the enforcement process.
"Our goal is for the regulations and statutes of the state to be enforced in a way that protects the environment and the health of the public. So what we will do is offer any number of ways that a company can go to get back in compliance," said Clair Boatwright.
If DHEC and a company can't reach an agreement, Boatwright said alleged violations are taken up in court.
She said an initial conference, like the one Pulte plans to attend, is generally an opportunity to get a company's side of the story.
"They may have a viewpoint that we haven't seen," she said. "If we get a report that says somebody hasn't done something, but they have proof that they've done it, it can end right there."
The conference will be closed to the public, according to DHEC.
Lagoons are common features in developments throughout Beaufort County. They are designed to filter rainstorm runoff andare often advertised to potential home buyers as picturesque amenities.