Suwannee Democrat


April 4, 2014

Another sinkhole discovered at the catalyst site

Could cost over $400,000 for remediation

Live Oak —

County Administrator Randy Harris informed the Suwannee County Board of County Commissioners Tuesday night that another sinkhole has formed in the retention pond at a county-owned catalyst site. The board voted unanimously to give Harris the authority to pursue grants that would cover sinkhole remediation.

Under consent agenda items, the board voted unanimously to approve a task order with Preble-Rish Inc. in the amount of $5,000 for consulting engineering services associated with the catalyst site sinkhole; authorization for Harris to apply for a rural infrastructure grant for sinkhole remediation; and if approved for grant, Harris was given authorization to go out for bid for sinkhole remediation services.

According to Preble-Rish officials, the company will serve as the engineer to provide professional services for the plans preparation, bidding, inspection, and closeout of the sinkhole remediation work for Suwannee County, acting by and through the Board of County Commissioners. 

Preble-Rish officials report that on March 16, a storm event distributed approximately six inches of rainfall on the project. The storm runoff was collected in the stormwater ponds, which filled up to a depth of three feet in the ponds. 

 On March 20, Preble-Rish said depressions were reported in the southwest corner of the retention pond after the pond recovered much faster than anticipated. 

The sinkhole that was discovered is approximately eight feet wide and 30 feet long, and approximately two to four feet deep. Another depression which is approximately 170 feet apart but is related to the other, is approximately 20 feet wide and 40 feet long. The deepest part of the depression measures at about six to eight feet. 

“These depressions need to be repaired based on the geotechnical engineer’s recommendation for remediation of such depressions,” Preble-Rish officials reported. “The general description of remediation activities is to excavate the cavity(ies) down to a hard bottom, place a geotextile for separation, then backfill with suitable material. This same method has been successfully performed on approximately 14 depressions on site to date.” 

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