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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 watershed.

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 repaired.

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.

2015 Al Bawaba (Albawaba.com) Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. ( Syndigate.info ).

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Posted Oct 27, 2015 at 7:55am



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