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Welcome to the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) Beach Monitoring Homepage

South Carolina Department of Heath and Environmental Control staff, in accordance with  federal Environmental Protection Agency standards, routinely collect water samples at over 120 locations on South Carolina's beaches. If high numbers of bacteria are found, an advisory is issued for that portion of the beach. An advisory means that DHEC advises you NOT to swim in those areas. This is especially true for young children, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems.

Advisories do not mean that the beach is closed. Wading, fishing, and shell collecting do not pose a risk. Advisories may be issued due to high bacteria counts or rainfall. Advisories are lifted when sample results fall below the limit of 104CFU/100mL. Check the local newspaper and television news stations. Look for advisory signs when you go to the beach.

The South Carolina beach monitoring season begins May 15, 2012 and runs through October 15, 2012.

S.C. DHEC's ocean water quality advisories are now available on Twitter. Please visit's DHEC's main page or

Know the weather forecast before you go



Bureau of Water . Phone: (803) 898-4300 . Fax: (803) 898-3795 . Contact Us