Birch Point stormwater upgrades completed

Published on Wed, Jan 11, 2012 by Jeremy Schwartz

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A recently completed stormwater improvement project will hopefully lead to less flooding for residents in an area on Birch Point, on the northern tip of Birch Bay.

The $197,234 project, which came in about $139,000 under budget, was the first major stormwater improvement project spearheaded by the Birch Bay Watershed and Aquatic Resources Management (BBWARM) district. The project replaced a 50-year-old stormwater system in the Charel Terrace community that stretched from the intersection of Semiahmoo and Charel Drives to the beach.

The project replaced most of the area’s aging stormwater pipes and constructed specialized drainage ditches called bioswales along some of the area’s roads.The improved stormwater system is designed to have more capacity than will likely be needed in the near future, county stormwater engineer Kraig Olason said.

The combination of new pipe and bioswales will be able to handle the stormwater that would flow through the area if the stormwater retention pond across Semiahmoo Drive from the Charel Terrace development were not there. Heavy rains and clogged drainage pipes have historically overwhelmed the pond and caused flooding in the area.

The construction project is part of an ongoing effort by BBWARM’s to improve stormwater systems in a number of areas in Birch Bay. County staff are continuing with the design and construction of stormwater improvement projects for the Cottonwood Beach area and Roger’s Slough.