Monday, April 27, 2009

an email to DHEC

Under “Construction Monitoring”, Pulte’s March 10, 2009 Lagoon Action Plan states in part:

· Thomas and Hutton Engineering will have an engineer onsite everyday during construction
· Thomas and Hutton will verify all construction methods used

Photographs of the reconstruction of Lagoon 164, taken on April 7 and sent to DHEC on April 15, show uncompacted embankment fill and sloughing and eroding slopes. Photographs taken April 24 (following) show a tree well in the embankment. As you know, tree roots can push through even compacted embankments and cause embankment failure. When the tree matures and dies, the roots decay and leave pathways for water to flow through the embankment (piping).

Needless to say, future maintenance of these lagoons, which is the responsibility of the community, is greatly impacted by methods used in their reconstruction. Poor reconstruction methods and poor monitoring will increase the community’s future maintenance expenses.

We are concerned with the reconstruction methods and monitoring at Lagoon 164 (and at other lagoons that will be reconstructed). Our concerns include:

· Embankment soil compaction
· Slope stabilization
· Steep slopes, including safety concerns for slopes steeper than 4:1
· Trees in embankments

Trees and root systems need to be removed from embankments. Erodible slopes need to be stabilized. Safety needs to be addressed for slopes steeper than 4:1. Soil in embankments needs to be compacted.

With the reconstruction of the Phase 5 lagoons underway, and given our concerns with reconstruction monitoring and reconstruction methods being used, we believe that “time is of the essence”. On April 15 we specifically requested a meeting in which we can both provide and request information regarding the status of the reconstruction of Phase 5 SWM ponds at Sun City Hilton Head. We again specifically request a meeting with you and your staff soon, so that we can discuss these and other issues regarding the reconstruction of Phase 5 lagoons.

Please contact me via email, or at the phone numbers listed below, to arrange a time when we can meet with you and your staff at your office in Beaufort.

Thank you.


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