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208 Water Quality Management Plan
For the Non-Designated Area of South Carolina

When amendments to the Clean Water Act (CWA) were passed in the 1970s, legislators included provisions in section 208 that required States to develop and implement regional wastewater management plans. In South Carolina, the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) carries out these requirements through the 208 Program, which guides and documents changes to the State’s wastewater needs and infrastructure.

The goal of the 208 Program is to facilitate a systematic regional approach to protecting water quality by:

  1. Identifying water quality management areas
  2. Documenting current and future wastewater infrastructure needs
  3. Outlining policies that guide the wastewater infrastructure permitting process
  4. Providing administrative procedures to document plan modifications and allow for transparency and public involvement.

Regional 208 Water Quality Management Plans

Section 208 of the CWA required Governors to identify areas with water quality problems and designate an organization to develop a wastewater management plan for those areas. Six Councils of Governments (COGs) are designated as planning agencies for 24 of South Carolina’s counties. DHEC serves as the planning agency for the remaining 22 counties.

South Carolina Designated Water Quality Planning Agencies

South Carolina Designated Water Quality Planning Agencies

Below you will find links to the regional 208 water quality management planning programs for each of the 6 designated COGs.

Appalachian Council of Governments
Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments
Central Midlands Council of Governments
Lowcountry Council of Governments
Santee-Lynches Regional Council of Governments
 Waccamaw Regional Council of Governments

Conformance Reviews

Wastewater projects are reviewed to determine whether or not they conflict with the applicable 208 Plan. These conformance reviews are conducted by the designated planning agency for the county where the project will take place. Planning agencies make recommendations to DHEC on whether or not to permit a particular project based on these reviews.

Permits cannot be issued for wastewater projects that conflict with the applicable 208 Plan. In cases of conflict, either the project or the Plan must be amended for the process to proceed.

Projects that must be reviewed include those for new and renewed NPDES discharges, land application, domestic and industrial wastewater construction as well as for community septic systems serving multiple properties. Preliminary Engineering Reports and facilities plans for projects applying for State Revolving Fund loans must also be reviewed for conformance.

For questions about conformance reviews, please contact the planning agency for your county.

Statewide 208 Water Quality Management Plan

The 208 Water Quality Management Plan for the Non-designated Areas of South Carolina (208 Plan) is the guiding document in the 22 counties where SCDHEC is responsible for wastewater planning. It details wastewater management policies and lists the management agencies in each county that are responsible for and legally capable of carrying out those policies. A large portion of the 208 Plan is dedicated to the identification of each management agency and its respective management boundary.

The current plan was updated in 2011 and replaces the 1997 plan update. 
Download the complete 208 WQMP.
View an interactive map of 208 management boundaries.
2011 208 Plan update archives

Summary of 208 Amendments

A list of amendments currently on public notice can be found here.

Management Agency Designation

Management agencies are designated to carry out water quality management plans. They are responsible for constructing, operating and maintaining publicly owned wastewater treatment facilities and have the legal authorities necessary to implement the plans.

All incorporated municipalities, counties and special purpose districts in South Carolina are legally capable of performing the duties of a designated management agency. Each management agency agrees to accept certain responsibilities, usually by signing a Willingness and Implementation Statement.
Eligible entities may request to become a management agency by mailing a signed willingness and implementation statement to:

Karin Skipper
208 Program Coordinator
SCDHEC Bureau of Water
2600 Bull Street
Columbia, SC 29201

Note that owning or operating a wastewater treatment facility or collection system is not required to become a management agency. However, privately owned wastewater providers are not eligible.

Related Documents

1997 208 Water Quality Management Plan Standards for Wastewater Facility Construction (R. 61-67)
Antidegradation Implementation for Water Quality Protection in South Carolina
NPDES Permitting Program: Load Allocation
Water Classifications and Standards (R. 61-68)


208 Program Coordinator: Karin Skipper (803) 898-4187