Before you jump in for a swim or embark on a fun day of kayaking in rivers across South Carolina, you may want to check the water quality.
According to a study released by the South Carolina Sierra Club Water Committee, 31 percent of the waterways in South Carolina are unsafe for recreation due to pollution. This is up from 19 percent 2 years ago.
The primary pollutant is fecal coliform bacteria — which comes from human and animal waste — and gets into waterways as the result of storm water runoff, faulty septic systems, farm animals using streams and sediment from farms and grazing areas.
So which waterways are polluted? I’m not sure… and I couldn’t find anything on the DHEC site or the SC Sierra Club site providing specifics. Hopefully something will be published soon. In the meantime, you can reach the DHEC Bureau of Water by calling (803) 898-4300.
On a related note, while looking for specific info identifying the polluted waterways, I found this really cool Google map that provides current water quality status and advisories for South Carolina beaches.