Bureau of Water Documents

The Bureau of Water at the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control publishes a variety of documents on the health of water in the state, including the annual safe drinking water report, technical reports, and a newsletter on recreational waters.


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 5 of 78
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    Uranium and fluoride in fish from the Congaree River
    (2020-05) South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, Bureau of Water, Aquatic Science Programs; Shearer, Taylor; Rabon, Bryan
    Fish were collected from the Congaree River for targeted chemical analyses of tissue in response to community concerns with the Westinghouse Nuclear Fuels (WNF) facility located in Hopkins, South Carolina. The WNF facility fabricates nuclear fuel assemblies that contain natural and low-enriched uranium oxide fuel for light water commercial nuclear power reactors. The fabrication process comprises chemical and mechanical phases. In the chemical phase the uranium complex of uranium hexafluoride (UF6), produced by treatment of low-level U235 with hydrofluoric acid, is converted to uranium dioxide (UO2) by the ammonium diuranate process. The UO2 is then processed by being pressed into fuel pellets; heated to form a ceramic material; and, passed through a grinding operation. The ensuing fuel pellets are loaded into metal fuel rods that are then sealed and bundled into the final nuclear fuel assembly. Specimens of bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus) and redbreast (Lepomis auratus) sunfish were collected and analyzed for uranium and fluoride. The target analytes were selected based on their presence in normal WNF operations. Although both analytes are present as production chemicals at the facility, uranium is considered to be closer to a signature analyte of the WNF facility than fluoride because fluoride is present in the aquatic environment from a variety of natural and anthropogenic sources. Ambient natural levels of uranium and fluoride (as fluorine) in the general Eastover area of the State soil are estimated to be 1.0 to 2.0 milligrams per kilogram (mg/Kg) (USGS 2014) and non-detect (<10 mg/Kg) to 47 mg/Kg (USGS 1984), respectively. Filet and whole fish samples were analyzed to evaluate the potential exposure upon human consumption from recreational fishing (filet) and as a sentinel monitor for general biological uptake (whole). Technical Report No. 007-2020.
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    Update regarding lead (Pb) waters of concern re: a review of lead in surface waters
    (2020-11-17) South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, Bureau of Water, Aquatic Science Programs; Chestnut, David; Rabon, Bryan
    The Addendum to the initial Draft 2018 State of South Carolina Integrated Report Part I (SCDHEC, 2020, IR Part I) identified a total of 169 Waters of Concern (WOC) due to total recoverable Lead. From the results presented herein, 156 of those WOC are currently meeting the lead standard with only 13 requiring ongoing monitoring, either due to 2 or more lead (Pb) standards exceedances or insufficient samples to make a determination. It is clear that concurrent measurements of metals, TSS, and hardness for the calculation of sample specific standards are crucial for the proper assessment of standards compliance and instream conditions. This information for receiving streams is also important for the development of reasonable and protective NPDES permit limits. Accordingly, all freshwater stream metals samples will now be accompanied by concurrent TSS and hardness analyses. Technical Report No. 1019-2020.
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    Synopsis : development and adoption of the Escherichia coli freshwater water quality standard - volumes 1 & 2
    (2020-08-19) South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, Bureau of Water, Aquatic Science Programs; Chestnut, David; Rabon, Bryan
    This document is a synopsis of the activities undertaken that led the Department (DHEC) to the adoption of Escherichia coli (E. coli) as the new freshwater fecal pathogen indicator in Regulation 61-68 Water Classifications and Standards, replacing fecal coliform bacteria. This report is primarily a collection of the documentation presented to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 4 to support the change to R.61-68, with additional original material to connect the various attachments. Technical Report No. 015-2020. Volume 2 contains the raw data.
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    Okatee River environmental condition assesment : volumes 1 & 2
    (2020-06) South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, Bureau of Water, Aquatic Science Programs; Chestnut, David; Rabon, Bryan; Lachenmyer, Lindsey; Lewandowski, Justin; Pangborn, Nicholas; Shearer, Taylor
    In order to respond to local citizens’ concerns over and questions about potential water quality impacts in the Okatee River due to operations of and events at the Able Contracting facility, the Department commissioned the multi-media sampling and analysis assessment reported herein. The Okatee River, which was the ultimate receiving stream for the runoff from the firefighting water, is utilized by nearby residents for shellfish harvesting, fishing, crabbing, and other recreational activities. Questions from local residents about the potential environmental impacts of pollutants from the fire and concerns about the safety of locally-collected shellfish for human consumption led the Bureau of Water (BOW) to develop this Okatee River Environmental Condition Assessment. This project collected a wide range of data on both volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds, metals (including arsenic and mercury), pesticides, and PCBs in water, sediment, and oyster and blue crab tissues. Most of the analytes have no numeric standards related to human consumption of oysters and blue crabs, or water quality or sediment standards or criteria. Consequently, the acquired data will be used to begin to establish the baseline for environmental media chemical quality and linkage to hard substrate (via the oyster population) integrity in the assessment area. Technical Report No. 011-2020.
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    Lower Catawba River Basin - stream and lake nutrient water quality study
    (2020-02) South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, Bureau of Water; Baumann, Ph.D., Matthew S.
    During 2019, South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) collected water quality data from six stream sites and 11 lake sites in the Lower Catawba River Basin located in north-central South Carolina. The field sampling program spanned 29 weeks from mid-April through the end of October and builds on studies conducted in previous years by stakeholder partners. Bolstered by years of data collected as part of DHEC’s ambient monitoring program, the comprehensive data set will assist in calibrating new watershed, lake hydrodynamic, and lake water quality models. The models will be used to inform the development of site-specific numeric nutrient criteria and a total maximum daily load aimed at addressing water quality impairments in the basin. Broadly, the objectives of the 2019 field study were to quantify nutrient loadings from the prevalent land use types in the basin and to resolve the relationship between physical and chemical conditions and ecological responses in Fishing Creek Reservoir and Lake Wateree, two hydroelectric reservoirs in the system.