Lower 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 howsmyscriver.org beginning this summer. 

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.

Concerns About Carolina Crossroads Project

The South Carolina Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration have been working on a project called Carolina Crossroads with the goal of reducing traffic and improving mobility in the I-20/26/126 corridor. The project team has identified 49 possible alternatives they believe could achieve those goals (view the alternatives here).

May 2015 Water Quality Monitoring Results

Congaree Riverkeeper Files Clean Water Act Lawsuit

Congaree Riverkeeper, represented by the Southern Environmental Law Center, today filed suit in federal court to stop unlawful sewage discharges into the Saluda River near Columbia, S.C.  The complaint is directed at the Carolina Water Service I-20 facility, which has repeatedly exceeded pollution limits and failed to tie into a nearby modern regional treatment system that was built over a decade ago.

Congaree Riverkeeper Supports Lexington Penny for Progress

Earlier this year the Board of Directors of Congaree Riverkeeper voted to endorse the Lexington County Penny for Progress Program, a proposed 1% sales tax increase to fund numerous infrastructure projects across the county. The Penny will provide millions of dollars in funding for projects that will improve river access and recreation, improve water quality, and address stormwater issues.  Below are some of the key Penny projects that will affect our rivers.

June Water Quality Monitoring Results

Our second round of water quality sampling for 2014 was conducted on June 19th and 20th.  All seven sites were sampled for bacteria and three sites were also sampled for nutrients and biochemical oxygen demand (BOD).  Three sites exceeded the state standards for bacteria, including Stoops Creek, which had the highest levels of fecal coliform and E. coli.  You can view all the results below.

March Water Quality Monitoring Results

Our first round of water quality sampling in 2014 was conducted on March 20th and 21st.  The results from the 7 sites we sampled are below.  The sampling again revealed E. coli exceedances at the Broad River and Smith Branch sample sites.  The state standard for fecal coliform bacteria is 400 colonies per 100 mL and the standard for E. coli is 349.


December Water Quality Monitoring Results

At the end of December we conducted our sixth round of water quality sampling.  The results from the 7 sites we sampled are below.  The sampling revealed E. coli exceedances at Richland County's Broad River Wastewater Plant and on the Congaree River.  The state standard for fecal coliform bacteria is 400 colonies per 100 mL and the standard for E. coli is 349.


Dirty Half Dozen List Update

In April of this year Congaree Riverkeeper published our first Dirty Half Dozen List identifying what we believe to be the six worst permitted polluters in our area.  Since publishing the list there has been significant progress on bringing several of these polluters back into compliance.  Below is an update on the top four polluters from our list.

The City of Columbia

Congaree Riverkeeper Initiates Clean Water Act Lawsuit

On November 4th, 2013 the Southern Environmental Law Center, on behalf of Congaree Riverkeeper, sent a Notice of Intent to Sue for Violations of the Clean Water Act to Carolina Water Service, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  The Notice alleges that Carolina Water Service's I-20 Wastewater Treatment Plant, which discharges into the Lower Saluda River, is violating its NPDES permit by repeatedly polluting the river with sewage discharges in excess of permit limits and by not connecting t

June Water Quality Monitoring Results

In late June Congaree Riverkeeper conducted our fourth round of water quality sampling.  The results from the 7 sites we sampled are below.  Since South Carolina recently transitioned from fecal coliform to E. Coli as the indicator for bacteria we have added E. Coli to our sampling.  South Carolina water quality regulations state that for a single sample, for freshwaters, E. Coli should not exceed 349/100ml .

March Water Quality Monitoring Results

In March Congaree Riverkeeper conducted our third round of water quality sampling.  In addition to the six sites we have previously sampled we added a new sample site on Gills Creek.  The results from the March sampling, as well as the past results, are listed below.


December Water Quality Monitoring Results

In December we conducted our second round of sampling for our water quality monitoring program.  We sampled six sites for fecal coliform bacteria and also sampled the three river sites for nutrients (Phosphorous and Nitrogen) and biological oxygen demand (BOD5).  The results from the December sampling, as well as the September results, are listed below.

Congaree Riverkeeper Supports the Penny Tax

Earlier this month the Congaree Riverkeeper Board of Directors voted to endorse the Richland County Special Use and Sales Tax, commonly known as the penny tax.  Richland County voters will decide whether to add another penny to our sales tax on November 6th in order to fund public transit, road improvements, and greenways, including the River Alliance's Lower Saluda River Greenway plan.

Higher Flows on Lower Saluda to Resume

Over the past few weeks, the Lower Saluda has experienced very low flows released from Lake Murray Dam operated by SCE&G.  Congaree Riverkeeper expressed concern to SCE&G that such low flows would likely have a negative impact on the fish population in the Lower Saluda River, especially trout and striped bass.  We were also concerned that these low flows may lead to a public health concern due to the wastewater discharges into the River making up a higher concentration in the water downstream where there is significant contact recreation.  So, while realizin

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

Trout Stocking on the Lower Saluda River

Many fish make long and difficult journeys to get from where they hatch to where they currently live, but a few thousand trout near our capital city of Columbia may have one of the most unique of these journeys.  On December 13th the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) partnered to stock approximately 13,000 trout in the Lower Saluda River.  Around 5:00 a.m.

Joint Statement Regarding Saluda River Access



About Our Rivers

Lower Broad River
The Congaree Riverkeeper’s geographical scope includes a 22-mile stretch of the Broad River, from the Parr Shoals Reservoir located in Newberry County down to its confluence with the Lower Saluda River, located within the City of Columbia. Read more.