Blythewood Road widening project affected nearby pond

Byron Dinkins stands next to his two-acre mustard-colored pond that he says was a beautiful blue color until the drainage pipe was installed sometime last fall.

BLYTHEWOOD – Unmanaged water runoff from the Richland County Penny Tax funded Blythewood Road widening project between I-77 and Syrup Mill Road is causing worrisome changes to neighboring property, says Byron Dinkins, who says his two-acre pond has been fouled with silt, has turned brown, and may be permanently ruined as highway drainage from the construction project continues to pour onto his property.

The long tube-like area the county graded to accommodate an approximately 150-foot drainage pipe and retention pond designed to drain stormwater from the new four-lane Blythewood Rd. Byron Dinkins’ pond is approximately 100 feet downhill from where the stormwater drains out of the four-foot diameter drainage pipe.

“I don’t want the water drainage from a mile of four-lane highway draining into my pond for the rest of my life,” says Dinkins. “The county should’ve purchased more property from the adjoining landowners for the drainage to be disposed of as it should be, the proper way.”

Dinkins says the problem started last fall, when he says the construction crew hired by Richland County ran 50 or so feet of giant four-foot diameter concrete pipe from Blythewood Road onto a wedge of property purchased from one of Dinkins’ neighbors. County officials call the wedge of property a continuation of the highway right of way.

“They say the pipe and a retention pond beneath the mouth of the pipe are within the right of way,” Dinkins said. “But the way it’s installed, the drainage pipe is pointing in the direction of my pond and sending drainage water downhill right in to it.”

The highway runoff water is intended to pour from the concrete drainage pipe into a small five or six-foot deep retention pond. While the pipe and detention pond are situated within the county’s right of way, the pipe points towards Dinkins’ pond which is not more than a hundred feet away and downhill from the retention pond, allowing the highway drainage to pour onto Dinkins’ land and into his pond.

Neither the road contractor nor the county officials overseeing the project could be reached for comment. Project Manager Michael Green referred The Voice to the county’s public information office. The Voice emailed questions to the office, but has not yet received a response.

Dinkins says the assistant project manager was initially responsive to his complaint. That’s when the small gravel retention pond was constructed on the neighboring property. But the retention pond filled and overflowed quickly – within 24 hours of construction. And the problematic stream of drainage water continued to flow downhill, directly into Dinkins’ pond.

Byron Dinkins stands on the edge of the county’s retention pond dam, where it broke the first night after it was constructed, releasing Blythewood Rd. drainage and silt downhill onto Dinkins’ property, where he says it pours into his previously blue pond.

Dinkins describes it as a band-aid on a wound that continues to bleed – a problem that needs a larger solution.

In reality, he says, fixing the drainage issues caused by the road project will require a drainage plan and likely the acquisition of a little more of the neighboring land to properly handle the runoff.

Dinkins says finding a solution is important not just in this location, but for the project as a whole. He also owns property at the intersection of Syrup Mill and Muller Roads, where a future phase of the project is planned.

“I’m concerned that the lack of an effective drainage plan there will cause a similar problem, devaluing an otherwise excellent corner lot,” Dinkins said.

Other landowners adjoining the road may also be affected if the drainage issues are not handled.

“It’s very poor planning,” Dinkins says of the current problem.

“They should’ve acquired more property for this drainage system they’re putting in because all the drainage from this mile stretch of road is going to be dumped here into this pond, which is now brown and is going to be contaminated from here on out.”

Contact us: (803) 767-5711 | P.O. Box 675, Blythewood, SC 29016 | [email protected]