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Volunteers needed for Rawls Creek cleanup

Organizers are planning to clean up Rawls Creek to help prevent flooding in the town of Irmo.

IRMO, S.C. — The thousand-year flood in 2015 left much damage around Columbia, and some of that is still affecting communities five years later.

A local water company is leading an effort to clean up some of that mess.

Blue Granite Water Company services the Irmo area and has teamed up with the SC Floodwater Commission and South Carolina 7 to get Rawls Creek cleaned up and working properly. The event is planned for Saturday, December 12. 

“It’s not going to clean itself," says SC Floodwater Commission chairman Tom Mullikin. “What we have going on is really the confluence of trash and beaver dams ... it stops the water, and this is where you see the water begin to back up into people’s homes.”

Credit: Blue Granite Water Co
An example of build-up at Rawls Creek during a heavy rain.

“Part of what we’re doing out here is dealing with what is the natural impacts of what happens in creeks," says Dave Wilson, a spokesperson for Blue Granite, which services the Friarsgate Neighborhood where the clean-up will take place.

“This is in essence what you find in malfunction junction in the middle of a traffic jam, in the middle of rush hour - that’s what happens in this creek every single time that it rains," Wilson says. 

Organizers are looking to prevent this build-up from not only flooding yards but causing potential health problems.

“The overall goal of the renewal and cleanup here at Rawls Creek is really based on a simple fact that we need natural, clean tributaries and waterways so that we can protect the environment here but also provide a quality wastewater service to this community," Wilson says.

You can help out by signing up to volunteer with the cleanup by visiting this link.

Credit: Blue Granite Water Co
The area that will be part of the clean-up on December 12.