The Operations Division of the Public Works Department maintain and repair roads which have been accepted into the Dorchester County road maintenance system.
Not all roads maintained by Dorchester County have right-of-ways. Some roads within Dorchester County have a prescriptive easement which means that Dorchester County claims only what is maintained. This is common on older roads, dirt roads and paved roads in the rural area of Dorchester County. Unpaved roads are graded on a continuing basis with rocking, culvert repairs, roadside vegetation control and stabilization performed as needed.
In addition to maintaining the County road system, Dorchester maintains stormwater systems that have been accepted by the County and has a dedicated easement or right of way. The maintenance of drainage structures shall be limited to the work necessary to ensure the proper flow of water within the structure. This work shall include repairs to damaged pipes and the removal of sedimentation and vegetation which impedes the proper flow of water within a structure as determined by the Director of Public Works. The cutting of vegetation and removal of foreign material from drainage structures for aesthetic purposes shall be the responsibility of the adjacent landowners. This maintenance effort will apply to all drainage structures that are a part of the overall drainage plan of all subdivision.
Request for Service
Work orders may be placed by, email or by calling during regular office hours. Work orders are prepared and issued to the Operations Manager for inspection and evaluation to determine the need and extent of the work being requested. Workloads and resources are reviewed and prioritized to create a flowing work schedule.
Storm Drainage System Repair
The issues of aging or inadequate public storm drain systems, flooding and water quality need to be addressed. With the adoption of a proactive program, we are working to keep the public drainage systems operational by reducing flooding while protecting our natural environment.
Repairs to public drainage systems are made based on safety, area affected, access to the area, and scope of the damage within the drainage easements. Repairs such as sinkholes are made by County crews as general system maintenance, however replacement of large sections of failing drainage pipe are reviewed during the project selection phase. Ditch bank erosion is not considered top priority unless damage to structures outside of drainage easements is forthcoming.
Annual Maintenance Programs
Cleaning County Ditches
Ditches are inspected for debris blockages and structural problems. Ditches are only cut to ensure the proper flow of water and not for aesthetics.
Cleaning Town & City Ditches
The Town of Summerville, the City of North Charleston, the Town of Ridgeville, the Town of Harleyville, and the Town of St George are responsible for cleaning their own ditches and public drainage systems. Each municipality may call on Dorchester County for guidance or assistance as needed.
Cleaning Private Ditches
Private ditch systems exist. The property owners and/or the Home Owners Association (HOA) are responsible for the maintenance of these systems.
Pipe and Street Inlet Cleaning
Stormwater Crews inspect street drainage systems based upon calls from residents for dumping and debris that could cause blockages and flooding. Residents are encouraged to report dumping and debris in drainage systems, and you are able to report these anonymously if needed. Cleanings will be scheduled by the degree of debris or blockage – flooding areas will receive priority over trash issues.
Sinkholes are often caused by damage or separation of drainage pipes. Residents should report sinkholes to the Public Works Department for inspection and repair. Some sinkholes are caused by damaged water and sewer lines, which will be reported to the appropriate authority (Dorchester County Water & Sewer, Dorchester County Water Authority, Summerville CPW, Charleston Water System, etc.) Repairs are prioritized by location and size.
Problems that Do Not Qualify for Repairs
(We recommend consulting a professional contractor)
- Underground springs
- Leaking basements and wet crawl spaces
- Low spots between homes or property where water stands
- Broken or leaking gutters & downspouts or lack of adequate roof drains
- Poor soil conditions or lot grading problems
- Problems associated with poor or improper activities within private drainage systems
- Drainage swale maintenance
- Private drainage system maintenance