Saluda River

Coalition Starts Weekly Water Quality Monitoring

In June a coalition of river stakeholders kicked off an enhanced water quality monitoring program for the Lower Saluda and Congaree Rivers during the peak recreational season.  In an effort to encourage safe recreational use of the river weekly water quality data will be available at beginning this summer. 

Clone of Watch Confluence

Midlands Gives - Tuesday, May 2nd

Watch Confluence

We are proud to present Confluence, a short film about our three rivers highlighting what makes them so special and why we fight to protect them.

Thanks to Modoc Stories and everybody who shared their stories and helped make this film.

Congaree Riverkeeper Wins Federal Lawsuit Against Carolina Water Service

On Thursday (March 30th) a federal court ruled in favor of Congaree Riverkeeper in a citizen Clean Water Act lawsuit brought against private sewer company Carolina Water Service (CWS). The court ruled that the Carolina Water Service I-20 wastewater treatment plant has been violating the Clean Water Act by discharging pollution into the Saluda River and violating the terms of their NPDES permit.

DHEC Denies CWS I-20 Permit

Today (8/1/16) the South Carolina Department of Environmental Control (DHEC) officially denied renewal of the NPDES permit for Carolina Water Service’s I-20 wastewater treatment plant. In addition to the permit denial DHEC also issued administrative orders to CWS and the Town of Lexington requiring them to submit a coordinated plan to eliminate the CWS I-20 discharge and shut down the facility.

Saluda River Wastewater Discharges

Saluda River Swimming Advisory Update


Update 7/7/16

After 17 days DHEC has lifted the swimming advisory for the Saluda River near Saluda Shoals Park.

From DHEC's press release:
"We have been performing daily sampling along the section of river that was impacted by improperly treated wastewater, along with the effluent being discharged from the facility, and found that bacteria levels have returned to consistently satisfactory levels," said David Baize, chief of DHEC's Bureau of Water.

2016 List of Impaired Waters

On April 1st the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) released their 2016 draft list of impaired waters, also called the 303(d) list.  The Clean Water Act requires states to develop a list every two years of waterbodies that don’t meet water quality standards. The list is developed primarily from DHEC’s water quality monitoring data, as well as some data collected by outside organizations. It includes a location, the use that is impaired, and the cause of the impairment.

Riverkeeper Discovers Massive Sewer Spill on Stoops Creek

On the morning of Wednesday, February 17th while collecting water quality samples Congaree Riverkeeper discovered a large sewer spill in Stoops Creek, a tributary to the Lower Saluda River. We found a broken force main (large pressurized sewer pipe) spilling sewage into the creek downstream of Bush River Rd and the railroad crossing. We contacted the City of Columbia and DHEC who responded quickly and began working on a repair plan.

Water Quality Monitoring Results


Last month Congaree Riverkeeper kicked off our water quality monitoring program.  We sampled multiple locations on our rivers and their tributaries for a number of parameters.  Below are some of the results from that sampling.


Here are maps of our sample locations:

Riverbanks Zoo to block access to Saluda River from its parking lot


Earlier today the Riverbanks Zoo and Garden released a statement describing their plans to erect a fence that will prevent the public from accessing the Saluda River from their parking lot.  Below is a portion of that statement:

Working to Prevent Sewer System Overflows

Over the past several years the West Vista Apartments in West Columbia had a serious problem with sewer system overflows (SSOs).  Sewage would spill from backed up pipes and overflow into nearby creeks, eventually reaching the Saluda River.  West Vista owns the sewage collection system on their property (know as a satellite sewer system) but loopholes in regulations made it unclear who was responsible for maintenance of these systems.

Let's Get the Lower Saluda Greenway Funded and Built

As part of its mission, Congaree Riverkeeper works to improve river access, protect fish and wildlife in and along our rivers, and advocate for clean water flowing within our rivers.  Greenways touch on all three of our missions.  They obviously improve river access, but we also think they serve as a catalyst to increase awareness and concern about water quality and habitat protection.  We firmly believe that if more people see and enjoy our Rivers, then more people will care about them and want clean and healthy Rivers.  We also believe greenways can help protect river

Saluda River Access at Riverbanks Zoo

Last week Congaree Riverkeeper met with Riverbanks Zoo administration to discuss the issue of river access and the zoo parking lot.  The zoo laid out their plan, the basic components of which are already in place.  The zoo will place a movable barricade somewhere in the upper end of the parking lot allowing parking for that day’s projected visitors.  As long as we park within the approved area and not beyond the barricade river users will be allowed to park in the zoo parking lot and can access the river from there.  Keep in mind these parking spac

Lower Saluda River

The Congaree Riverkeeper’s geographical area includes the Saluda River from below the Lake Murray dam to its confluence with the Broad River to form the Congaree.

View a panorama of the Lower Saluda River.

Geographical Description

River Reading Room

On this page, we offer for your reading pleasure and edification, public documents and reports about, relating to or impacting the Congaree, Lower Broad, and Lower Saluda Rivers.  Check back periodically as we add to this reading room.

Saluda River on Sunday Afternoon - July 31, 2011

Ron and Angela floated the lower Saluda River last Sunday and enjoyed the experience.  Little sit-on-top kayaks are very forgiving and just m



Current River Levels

This page offers links to real-time USGS streamflow data.  The stations are separated by drainage basin.