Engineer: If Charleston's historic drains were kept clean they'd still serve well today

Image by Flickr user Dustin Phillips Rain: A problem in Charleston in 1850, a problem today.

Update November 29, close but no cigar: Laura Cabiness, the city's director of public services, has responded with her own column. 

In it she explains that the city does make considerable effort to maintain and restore the brick archway drainage system but, she continues, that even when the system is at its best it could never hope to help the many below-tide level areas on Charleston's peninsula.

Take a read of her column over here

First reporting, a case for restoration: My understanding has been that Charleston's historic 19th century brick and pipe drainage system had been rendered largely ineffective thanks to years of ever-increasing tide levels and sinking soil.

But not so writes Bob George, a local engineer and former city council member, he says that not only are the drains worth saving for their intrinsic value but that if they were simply cleared of debris and sediment they would still fight our flooding issues.

Read his column, "City's historic drainage system is a terrible thing to waste," over at The Post and Courier.

Perhaps as evidence to the durability of water systems from the period, last year it was discovered the circa-1850 cistern at the College of Charleston was still working well.