The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) commends the efforts
of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control
(SCDHEC), farmers, and landowners for improving water quality in the
Enoree River watershed. Two out of six places in the river and its
tributaries are now meeting the state s bacteria water quality standard
for the first time since the late 90s.
Upon project completion, SCDHEC tested the water quality of six
testing stations on the Enoree River and its tributaries for the state s
2014 CWA Water Quality Assessment. SCDHEC found that all stations show
improvement for fecal coliform bacteria. Two of the drain
testing stations now
meet water quality standards and are classified as fully supporting (not
impaired) for recreational uses. SCDHEC data also showed reductions in
bacteria violations at four other stations in the Lower Enoree River
EPA Applauds SCDHEC, farmers and landowners for improving water
quality in the Enoree River watershed and providing additional
recreational opportunities in the area, said EPA Regional Water Division
Director Jim Giattina. EPA s funding of this type of work helps us to
accomplish our goal of making a visible difference in the health and the
environment of communities in the southeast.
Local partners began a project to restore the lower Enoree River in
2006. The project area includes portions of Laurens, Spartanburg, and
Union counties and covers approximately 195,417 acres. EPA provided
$255,953 in grant funds through a partnership with SCDHEC for this
project. Many partners provided technical support and other in-kind
services (worth $85,682), including Clemson University Extension
(project management); 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. Landowners also contributed $104,939 in
cash and in-kind services to install Best Management Practices (BMPs).
Project partners focused on recruiting livestock farmers to develop
farm plans and implement BMPs to reduce fecal coliform bacteria loading
from animal waste. In addition, nine failing septic systems were
Through local community organizations, including nonprofit
organizations, churches, the Enoree River Educational Board and the
Clemson University Cooperative Extension, shared information with
homeowners about septic system maintenance needs and cost-share
opportunities for septic system repairs. Extension agents also reviewed
existing aerial photographs and maps of septic system pump-out
occurrences, and worked with septic pumping contractors to identify
possible failing septic systems and high-risk communities.
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