A variety of stakeholders have come together to start an enhanced monitoring program for the Lower Saluda Scenic River during the peak recreational season. We want to encourage safe recreational use of the river. We are excited to announce that weekly water quality data will be accessible from www.howsmyscriver.org beginning this summer.
The Midlands River Coalition is made up of river related businesses, environmental groups, local and state government, property owners, industry and other users of the river. Our goal/purpose is to ensure safety of individual recreating on the river and to educate the public on issues related to natural waters. The goal is to more frequent data available to rivers users so they can make informed decisions on when to recreate in the river. The enhanced monitoring program will run from May through September. It involves 8 monitoring locations that will be sampled weekly.
The first sampling event is planned for June 21, 2017. Results from the sampling will be on the website the next day.
Contact recreation activities (swimming, wading, tubing, and paddling) may expose river users to harmful pollution. This water quality monitoring program is intended to provide river users with reliable information on water quality conditions and educate them about pollution issues so they can make informed decisions about their river activities.
E. coli is a type of bacteria that is specific to fecal material from humans and other warm-blooded animals. It is used as an indicator of health risk from water contact in recreational waters as its presence in streams suggests that pathogenic microorganisms might also be present and that swimming and other contact recreation activities might be a health risk.
Samples will be collected weekly during the high recreation season (May 1 – Sept. 30). Samples will be collected every Wednesday and if a sample result is high the site will be re-sampled on Thursday.
These samples are only a snapshot of a single location at a single time. Water quality conditions can change quickly and may be different in areas just upstream or downstream of a sample site.
Advisories are cautions that water may contain harmful germs. Advisories are issued where high amounts of bacteria have been found.
An advisory is just a warning that water may contain harmful germs. It does not mean that you cannot use the river, but you should use caution.
The coalition is made up of several river stakeholders including government agencies, municipalities, wastewater providers, parks, river advocacy organizations, river related businesses and other river users.
High level (>349.0 per 100mL of water)
Low level (0.0-349.0 per 100mL of water)
An external warning has been issued for this location.
What is tested in beach water monitoring samples?
Enterococcus bacteria are tested in the samples to indicate presence of bacteria in the water. Elevated levels of these bacteria in the water can indicate possible contamination by fecal waste. Enterococcus is a type of bacteria that lives in the intestinal tracts of warm-blooded animals, including humans, pets and wildlife.
More information on swimming safety can be found on DHEC's website here.