May 2015 Water Quality Monitoring Results

Earlier this year DHEC approved a Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP) for our water quality monitoring program.  That means that the data we collect can now be used by the agency to make regulatory and management decisions.  The current monitoring strategy has us collecting E. coli samples at 9 sites on a quarterly basis.  E. coli is a bacteria that can indicate the presence of untreated sewage or animal waste that may cause a health risk for river users.  A list and map of the sample sites can be viewed below.

On May 7th and 8th we collected our first round of samples under the new QAPP.  The results are shown below in the table and chart.

Water Quality Monitoring Results
Site Name E. coli - May 7/8
Congaree River 5.2 (duplicate sample 7.5)
Saluda at I-20 15.6
Saluda at Saluda Shoals 44.1
Broad River 23.1
Gills Creek 119.8
Rocky Branch 816.4
Smith Branch 648.8
Stoops Creek 285.1
12 Mile Creek 488.4

The state standard for E. coli is 349 per 100ml.

Three of the urban stream sites we sampled, Rocky Branch, Smith Branch, and 12 Mile Creek, had results above the state standard for contact recreation for freshwaters.  Generally high bacteria counts in urban stream are related to stormwater runoff.  These results highlight the importance of managing stormwater and reducing pollution by using techniques like stream buffers and green infrastructure.

Sample Sites: click on the links to view a list or map of the samples sites.