Engineering is a division of the Public Works Department that provides professional engineering support to the Public Works Department and to other County Departments. The Engineering Division is comprised of nine employees that are led by Mike Goldston, PE. Mr. Goldston has over 30 years of professional engineer experience and has been with Dorchester County since 2012. The primary responsibilities of the Engineering Division is the implementation of the County Capital Projects that include roadway improvements, stormwater improvements, and engineering and construction oversight for new facilities.
The Engineering Division also reviews all new development plans to ensure that development is completed in compliance with Dorchester County ordinances and design requirements. During construction, the Engineering Division monitors construction activities for stormwater compliance and quality control. All encroachment permits for County owned roads and ditches are accepted and reviewed by the Engineering Division. The NPDES Phase II General Permit for Stormwater Discharges from Regulated Small Minicipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4) is also managed by this Division.
Why Manage Stormwater?Every resident and business in Dorchester County contributes to stormwater runoff and pollution. You may not have storm drains or flooding problems on your street, but your home or business has impervious surfaces such as a roof and driveway that increase the amount of stormwater runoff and decrease the amount of natural environment that is available to absorb stormwater. The loss of this area to impervious surfaces means that stormwater is not absorbed quickly enough into the ground by the remaining areas. The increased amount of water flows above ground until it can be collected. This water needs to go somewhere and the systems that take it away need to be maintained in order to protect property.
Stormwater management involves the maintenance and evaluation of existing drainage systems, flood prevention, water quality protection and customer service. There are direct and indirect benefits from the stormwater program.
Water Quantity (Flooding):Over time, debris and silt can block drainage systems and drainage pipes can fail needing to be repaired or replaced, if the drainage systems that collect this water and remove it from the roadways are not maintained flooding can occur.
Development also reduces the area available for collecting the increased volumes of stormwater, hence the requirements for the use of detention pond systems in newer developments. Older developments may one day require retrofits or additional attention to reduce flooding occurrences, as they are not protected by engineered drainage systems.
Stormwater is not treated before it enters the rivers, creeks, marshes and lakes (waterways) in our area. Pollution from vehicles, lawn care, yard fertilizing, pet waste and other household activities are also stormwater problems. Chemicals and other items can cause water quality problems and be harmful to aquatic life. When these chemicals, pet waste and fertilizers enter the drainage systems it can cause excess vegetation growth in ditches and ponds and affect our drinking, fishing and recreational waters. Federal Regulations, from the Clean Water Act of the 1970’s, requires the County further address and implement programs to help improve water quality in our surrounding waterways.