Not your average water feature

By Peter Hull

Scientists contructing water flumesScientists at the Baruch Institute of Coastal Ecology and Forest Science in Georgetown want to protect future developments from the risks of flooding.

Biosystems engineers Anand Jayakaran and Dan Hitchcock are documenting what pre-development hydrologic conditions exist in coastal watersheds – in this case, the historic Bannockburn Plantation between U.S. Hwy. 17 and the Atlantic Ocean.

Their mission is simple: Control stormwater runoff as if the bulldozers had never moved in. To that end, they have built and installed three 10-feet long by 2-feet wide water flumes that will provide the telltale data.

By knowing the exact dimensions of the flume they can determine how much water passes through it, and what bacteria and sediment are in the water. If the site one day becomes homes or businesses, their research into water flow could prevent those structures from flooding.

For information: Anand Jayakaran, ajayaka@clemson.edu, 843-546-1013, ext. 223; Dan Hitchcock, dhitchc@clemson.edu, 843-546-1013, ext. 236; www.clemson.edu/baruch/.