Construction underway on the North Myrtle Beach Stormwater Outfall Program

Published: Jan. 20, 2023 at 11:25 PM EST
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NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) -- Residents may notice construction at the 18th Avenue North beach access in North Myrtle Beach.

It all has to do with cement pipes many have probably seen along the coastline.

For decades these pipes have been used to dump stormwater into the ocean.

Last week, crews began working on the new ocean outfall at 18th Avenue North.

The goal is to remove the SCDOT drainage pipes from the active beach. The current pipes discharge directly onto the beach.

“These new outfall pipes go far beyond the swim zone,” said Donald Graham, spokesperson for North Myrtle Beach.

Over the next several months the new pipes will be set below the sand and go out nearly a mile into the ocean.

By moving the storm drain further offshore it city hopes to prevent beach erosion and help maintain healthy water quality in the swimming zones.

Water testing has proven by moving the stormwater discharge into deeper water reduces near-shore bacteria levels.

Coastal flooding has also become a major topic, by starting this project 20 years ago the city believes they’re ahead of the curve when it comes to flood prevention and stormwater.

“Out city leaders are adamant about staying ahead of the curve and taking precautions to prevent coastal flooding,” said Graham.

The Stormwater Outfall Program began in 2002 and has cost more than $60 million.

Lane closures on Ocean Boulevard and along the adjoining streets can be expected during construction.

Work on the new ocean outfall is expected to take approximately one year to complete.

Stay with WMBF News for updates.