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South Carolina Ambient Surface Physical and Chemical Water Monitoring Network

Sponsoring Organization:  South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control

Description:  In an effort to evaluate the State's water quality, the SCDHEC collects data from a Statewide network of primary and secondary ambient monitoring stations and flexible, rotating watershed monitoring stations. The ambient monitoring network (PDF-2.02 MB) is directed toward determining long-term water quality trends, assessing attainment of water quality standards (R.61-68), identifying locations in need of additional attention, and providing background data for planning and evaluating stream classifications (R.61-69) and standards (R.61-68). For more information see the State of South Carolina Monitoring Strategy (PDF-4.86MB), Watershed Management Program and Common Water Quality Indicators (PDF-21.76 KB). Ambient monitoring data are also used in the process of formulating permit limits for wastewater discharges with the goal of maintaining State and Federal water quality standards and criteria in the receiving streams in accordance with the goals of the Clean Water Act. These standa The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control is beginning an evaluation of our freshwater water quality ambient monitoring program. For more than twenty-five years, DHEC has monitored the quality of our surface waters. Presently we use fecal coliform as the bacteria indicator of recreational water quality, and all waters of the state must meet swimming standards. Changes in science and technology now enable us to consider the use of other indicators to ensure that we are sufficiently protecting the citizens of South Carolina. Sources of fecal contamination include wildlife, agricultural waste, pet waste, leaky septic systems, and poorly designed or maintained sanitary sewers and wastewater treatment plants. Despite their name, fecal coliforms include non-fecal bacteria. A change in indicator is being considered, to reflect more meaningful and realistic protection for surface freshwaters of the state. This change will affect ambient water quality monitoring

Web Site:  http://www.scdhec.net/environment/water/surface.htm

Duration:  01/01/1984 to present  (as of 03/03/2009)

Program Contact:  David Chestnut

Program Contact Email:  chestnde@dhec.sc.gov

Program Purpose:  The purpose of the Ambient Surface Physical & Chemical Monitoring Network is to provide a system of monitoring sites that are sampled in a way that produces well defined data reflecting physical and chemical conditions of the streams, reservoirs and estuaries in South Carolina.

Data Access Information:  STORET

Data Access Policy:  STORET

Sampling Design:  Details at : http://www.scdhec.net/environment/water/docs/strategy.pdf There are several major components to Surface Water Physical & Chemical Monitoring, including ongoing fixed-location monitoring, cyclic watershed monitoring, and statewide probability-based monitoring, each designed to provide data for water quality assessment of major water resource types at different spatial and temporal scales.

Data Collection Area Description:  See map at http://www.scdhec.net/environment/water/images/wqms.pdf

Monitoring Stations:  no stations are currently registered in the database

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