South Carolina-based project manages runoff from urban forest

Sept. 19, 2023

Located in the heart of Aikek, South Carolina, Hitchcock Woods is one of the nation’s largest urban forests and hometo many rare, endangered   threatened species. For decades, the 21,000-acre woods have experienced severe damage to its health and integrity, including massive erosion, sedimentation and pollution due to the excessive discharge of urban stormwater runoff into the woods. As part of the city’s Sand River Stormwater Implementation Plan, the Hitchcock Woods Project seeks to address this issue. McCormick Taylor worked with StormTrap to provide the optimal stormwater solution. One challenge faced during this project was creating a system that maximizes stormwater stored within a limited area. StormTrap designed two interconnected 15-foot DoubleTrap vaults to store and control runoff. Together, the basins provide 25 acre-feet of stormwater storage within the Sand River watershed.

“The advantage to using StormTrap’s DoubleTrap was that it offered the greatest storage volume for a precast unit available on the market,” said Jason Hetrick, engineer at McCormick Taylor. “This allowed us to provide maximum storage within the limited footprint we had available.”

Thalle Construction was the contractor for the project, assisting with the coordination and installation of over 1,200 DoubleTrap pieces. Once installed, a park was constructed overtop the vaults, serving as an entryway into Hitchcock Woods. Additional park amenities have been added on-site including walking paths, a pollinator garden and meadow, a rain garden and educational signage.

The project was completed in November of 2022 and is recognized as the largest underground stormwater management system installed in South Carolina. This is also the first system to utilize continuous monitoring and adaptive control (CMAC) technology in the state.

“Our experience with StormTrap was incredible,” said Reinaldo González, project manager at Thalle Construction Company. “Partnering with a group of people who know what they’re doing and who are willing to help you throughout the process is what makes the difference.”

The Hitchcock Woods Stormwater Implementation Plan received the 2022 President’s Award from ASCE South Carolina and was highlighted as one of the Stormwater Solutions 2022 Top Projects. Additionally, the Municipal Association of South Carolina awarded the City of Aiken for this innovative project with the 2022 Achievement Award in the “Public Works” category.


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