Hydrology - Water Resources Report 44

Ditch Pond Carolina Bay Restoration Project

Aiken and Barnwell Counties, South Carolina

Phase II

by
Scott V. Harder, Joseph A. Gellici, and Andrew Wachob
2007

ABSTRACT

Ditch Pond Bay is the central feature of the Ditch Pond Heritage Preserve, which is located along the Aiken-Barnwell county line near Williston, South Carolina. Water levels in the bay are believed to be below normal owing to the presence of several ditches at the site. One ditch extends from the interior of Ditch Pond Bay to an outlet culvert north of the bay, while a second ditch to the west-northwest drains an adjacent Carolina bay (White Pond Bay). The impact of these ditches on the water level in Ditch Pond Bay is unknown, and a study of the bay is under way to determine the current hydrologic dynamics of the bay, the impacts of the ditches, and the need for restoration. This report presents data on rainfall, evapotranspiration, ground water, and bay water for just over a 12-month study period from mid-March 2006 through March 2007. For the 12-month period from April 2006 through March 2007, rainfall was more than 9 inches below normal, and water elevations in the bay declined approximately 2 feet. Ground-water levels measured in most wells substantially declined below the surface water of the bay during the summer and fall periods of the study. Lateral hydraulic gradients measured between bay levels and marginal wells suggest predominantly ground-water outflow through this period, though some sections of the bay margin provided evidence of ground-water inflow. A monthly water budget also suggests that ground water is a significant component of the bay’s hydrology. Well data show that the water table in the vicinity of the ditches has remained below the ditch bed for much of the study period, and little to no flow has been observed in these ditches. These results suggest that the ditch network has had little impact on the water level in Ditch Pond Bay during the relatively dry 12-month study period; however, additional data are needed for normal and wet weather conditions to fully assess the impacts of these ditches on the hydrology of Ditch Pond Bay.


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