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Water Quality Standards in South Carolina

  • R.61-68 (Water Classifications and Standards)

South Carolina's water quality standards are promulgated in S.C. Regulation 61-68, Water Classifications and Standards.  This regulation sets forth the classifications of our state's waters and establishes water quality standards that protect and maintain the existing and classified uses of those waters.  Those beneficial uses, criteria set to protect and maintain those uses, and our antidegradation policy are all required components of the water quality standards as set forth in the Clean Water Act (CWA).  Pursuant to Section 303(c)(2)(B) of the CWA, South Carolina is required to review its water quality standards to ensure that they remain current and compliant with federal requirements and recommendations and to hold a public hearing regarding this review at least once every three years, commonly referred to, as the triennial review.

S.C. Regulation 61-69, Classified Waters, is a compilation of many of the waters of the State listed by name, the county(ies) where the waterbody is located, the classification of the waterbody, any designation for that waterbody, and a brief description of the waterbody and any site-specific numeric criteria that apply to the listed waterbody.  R.61-69 must be amended each time a waterbody is reclassified to another classification.  To ensure consistency between the state's regulations, R.61-69 must also be amended if changes are made to the classification systems found in R.61-68.  All waters of the state of South Carolina are classified even if they are not specifically named or listed in R.61-69.  For those waters not listed, the classification of the waterbody that they are tributary to is the assigned class for those waters pursuant to the rules in both R.61-68 and R.61-69.