Problem
Low lying areas along the Massachusetts coast suffer severe flooding, particularly when heavy rain events coincide with moon influenced tidal peaks. In this particular neighborhood located in coastal Scituate, MA, flooding was made worse by an undersized drain that failed to drain the flooding afterwards, leaving houses inundated long after the flooding had abated. The extended flooding affected several dozen residences and had caused degradation of a nearby salt marsh by altering the natural mix of fresh and salt water and by cutting off the natural flushing of the wetlands.

Solution
After assisting the Town of Scituate in securing funding from Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), CEI designed a new drainage system and tide gate for the neighborhood. A 12-inch pipe was replaced with an upgraded 42-inch pipe that now drains into two 30-inch pipes. The design restored natural tidal flows to the salt marsh and significantly reduced extended flooding of the neighborhood.

Outcome
The project is a Win-Win for the environment and the neighborhood. CEI’s constructed design now allows precipitation and tidal flows to more readily drain through the upgraded and expanded culvert as opposed to the several days that was previously needed for water to recede. This improved drainage was completed by working in tandem with the various permitting agencies considering the changed in water level, adjacent wetlands and the increased discharge to the barrier beach. Permits included Wetland Order of Conditions, MEPA certificate, 401 Water Quality Certification, c.91 License, and ACOE PGP/Categorical approval. The final outcome was improved drainage in historically flooded areas, the minimization of roadway flooding during coastal storms and increased flushing by the newly installed    self-regulating tide gate.