Beach Haven Hoping to Resolve Flooding Issues

Oct 17, 2018
Photo by: Jack Reynolds

For the next year or so, Beach Haven hopes to finally address rainfall and tidal flooding that has plagued the borough’s streets for decades. The first step was taken last month, when the borough council adopted a $3 million bond ordinance for removal  and replacement of approximately 6,000 feet of storm drain pipe, the installation of inline tide valves (back flow preventers) to restrict bay water from flooding the streets, and three new bayside pump stations at the ends of Seventh Avenue, 10th Avenue and Pearl Street.

The project was based on an inventory of the storm water system and a master plan for its improvement prepared by Owen, Little & Associates two years ago. Robert Romano, an engineer for the firm, gave a presentation on the plan at the Oct. 9 council meeting.

Romano pointed out that during the late spring and throughout the summer, Beach Haven can experience short periods of intense rainfall, usually during thunderstorms.

“The frequency is five to 10 times a year,” he said. “It may rain over 3 inches in a one-hour period, but normally about 0.5 to 1 inch in 20 minutes. It overpowers the storm sewer collection system and floods low areas of Bay and Delaware avenues. It may take hours for flooding to recede.”

Romano said the borough’s drainage infrastructure dates back 80 to 100 years, making piping undersized by today’s standards for the contributory areas.

“Roadways are sloped from the bay street ends easterly to Bay Avenue,” he said. “This creates low drainage pockets that can flood.”

He noted that some areas along Bay Avenue are as low as 1 foot above sea level. Romano said approximately 30 times a year, the roadway experiences high tides ranging from 1.5 to 2 feet above sea level. Excessive high tides may occur 10 to 20 times a year, exceeding 2 feet above sea level.

Recent tides of record saw Superstorm Sandy exceed 7 feet above sea level. This year on March 18, the roadway had tides more than 3 feet above sea level, accompanied by 1.5 inches of rainfall in a few hours.

Romano said the installations will consist of submersible pumps in an underground concrete manhole or vault. Pump stations will discharge from 2,000 to 4,000 gallons per minute. All pumps will discharge to the bay.

“Pump control will be remote,” he said.“ All pump outlets will include a check valve in the piping system that will prevent tidal backflow. Pump station discharge will not cause excessive turbulence to bay waters.”

He said all pump stations will be maintained and operated by the borough. Pump construction will be salt water resistant with stainless steel alloys used throughout. Maintenance of the storm sewer will be shared between the borough and Ocean County, as it is presently.

The engineer said cost of construction for this phase of improvements is estimated at about $3 million for the Seventh Street, 10th Street and Pearl Street work. He hopes construction can start in the fall of 2019 and be completed in the spring of 2020.

Mayor Nancy Taggart Davis said she hopes the borough’s cost will be around $500,000, as she said officials will aggressively seek grants from various sources.

“We’re looking for some funding from the board of freeholders since the county shares some of the storm drains,” said Davis.

— Eric Englund

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