Pump System Keeps County House Trail Dry

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COLUMBIA - In the past a heavy down pour or a large snow fall might cause parts of County House Trail to flood. But it has stayed dry as of this past fall thanks to a new pump system.

Like many of Columbia's trails, County House Trail follows a creek. But unlike others, parts of the trail crosses under the bridge on Chapel Hill Road and below creek level. When it rains or snows, the trail has potential to flood, making it unpassible for most.

"Whenever there is a heavy down pour it will flood and it will get all the way to that level of the concrete wall. My son rode his bike through it one time and didn't realize how deep it really was," Columbia resident Christina Walker said.  

However, Columbia Parks and Recration has addressed this problem by installing a pump system under the trail.

"While you are looking at it you think well how in the world is water kept off this trail because I am below the creek. But it is all through a mechanical system that pumps and pushes it up to a container vault and it kind of just routes the stream around the trail," Columbia Parks and Recreation Director Mike Griggs said.

County House Tail was funded and administered through GetAbout Columbia; a federal grant to increase non-motorized transportation. According to Giggs, this pump system makes biking or walking to work more appealing.

"It keeps you dry. So if you are going to work and you know, if there's water in that area and you knew you were going to get wet, likely are you aren't going to use that route. So by keeping that trail dry, we are encouraging people to use it," Giggs said.

And for some trail users the pump system is a practical solution.

"If you are using a watershed as a road, or a trail or any kind of course then it is pretty likely you will have some flooding in it. I think it is totally sensible," trail user Daniel Kramer said.

Griggs said the pump system is working as planned. Following the latest snow melt, the trail stayed dry as a bone.

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