Water Quality Improvement in the Enoree Watershed

By Elizabeth Dieck

enoree river basin (1)

Success! Thanks to the collaborative efforts of federal, state and local partners, South Carolina was recently recognized by the EPA for its water quality improvements to portions of the Enoree River.

Located in South Carolina’s Upstate region, the Enoree River flows by Spartanburg, ending at the Broad River near Blair.  Mostly forested, but with significant farming and developed land use, DHEC’s previous monitoring data indicated that several sites on the river and its tributaries were impaired due to fecal coliform bacteria. Among the sources cited as contributing to the impairment were cattle access to waterways and septic system failures.

Using funds received from U.S. EPA, DHEC awarded a grant to Clemson University Extension to reduce the amount of bacteria reaching the river. In turn, Clemson University Extension worked in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture -Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA NRCS); the Spartanburg, Laurens and Union soil and water conservation districts; and the Spartanburg, Laurens and Union Cattlemen’s Associations to implement a plan focused on reducing fecal coliform bacteria from animal waste and failing septic system. And it worked!

In 2014, we assessed water quality data in the Enoree River watershed at six different locations. All monitoring stations along this stretch of river have seen water quality improvements, including two that meet standards for bacteria.

This success was only possible due to the partnership between DHEC and local conservation organizations and landowners. They, and all who strive for clean water, should be commended for the hard work that goes toward meeting the Clean Water Act’s mission of “fishable, swimmable” water resources each and every day. Thanks for helping make South Carolina a healthier and cleaner place to live.

For more information on South Carolina’s Nonpoint Source program, click here.

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