North Sea Community Rebuilds Bluff, Clears Up Rumors

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After heavy rains hit the East End last Tuesday, residents of the Whalebone Landing community in North Sea feared that the overwhelming flow of water running downhill toward the bay had uncovered the septic system of the Whalebone Landing Beach Club, possibly washing contaminants out into the water.

Whalebone Landing resident Patrice Ann Dalton stumbled upon a tank, covered by a cement casing, with PVC piping jutting out. The system, once covered by dirt and rocks, was fully exposed to the elements, on a bluff just above the bay.

But by September 10, the dirt from the site been completely recovered from the beach below and packed back into place. And it turned out that the exposed system was one of two dry wells on the property, owned by the Whalebone Landing Homeowners’ Association, designed to mitigate erosion of the bluff from excessive runoff.

Last Tuesday’s rainfall was more excessive than the dry wells were designed for, according Bill Clair of Bill Clair Incorporated, the association’s contractor. Mr. Clair said the two dry wells were only designed to drain 2 inches of rainfall over a 24 hour period. “We had 8 inches in six hours,” said Mr. Clair. “That would’ve overwhelmed most drainage systems, especially these.”

Mr. Clair added that because the whole community flows downhill, the road drainage systems, including two just outside a beach club driveway, were flooded as well.

The homeowners’ association has been trying to obtain a permit to install additional dry wells and a permanent stone barrier on the beach to prevent the type of erosion of the bluff that occurred last Tuesday, according to Mr. Clair, who said that last week’s events might be evidence of the necessity of the project.

Representatives of the association could not be reached for comment.

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