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Watersheds

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Who should I call to report a pollution incident (spill, overflow or fish kill)?
How can I find out about permit public notices and pending permit decisions?
Can someone come speak to my organization about watersheds?
What is a hydrologic unit code (HUC)?
Where can I find water quality monitoring data for my watershed?
Can DHEC use volunteer water quality monitoring data?
Who should I contact if I have a drinking water problem?
Where can I find information about health advisories?
Who should I contact about water classifications and standards?

How can I get involved in my watershed?
What are the priority watersheds for South Carolina?

 

Who should I call to report a pollution incident (spill, overflow or fish kill)?

To report chemical spills, oil spills or fish kills, you can call DHEC’s emergency response line toll-free at 1-888-481-0125 24 hours a day. For these and other water quality problems, you can also call your local DHEC office.

How can I find out about permit public notices and pending permit decisions

A listing of public notices and proposed decision is availble on our web site at: http://www.scdhec.gov/environment/water/eqpnbow.htm. Check regularly for the latest up dates.
For those citizens with ongoing interest, some automated mailing notifications are available by program area. Please contact the Division Director of the program of interest (organizational chart).

Can someone come speak to my organization about watersheds?

If you are interested in having a DHEC representative speak at a meeting or event about water quality, contact your Watershed Manager.

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What is a hydrologic unit code (HUC)?

Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUCs) are part of a U.S. Geologic Survey (USGS) watershed classification system based on size. For management and analysis purposes, hydrologic units are defined as the area that drains to a stream segment between an upstream-downstream pair of points. Under this system, the United States is divided into major watersheds such as the Mississippi River, and then further divided into subwatersheds. Each watershed is represented by a unique 8, 10 or 12-digit code commonly known as a HUC. 8-digit HUC’s are the largest and include major South Carolina rivers like the Catawba or Savannah while 12-digit HUC’s are the smallest.

In 2008, USGS released a nationwide GIS data set for watershed boundaries to provide consistency across all fifty states. While South Carolina used a 11- and 14-digit HUC system for some years, the State has now adopted a 10- and 12-digit HUC system. As a result of the adoption of the national layer, few watershed boundaries were changed when they received their new numbers. However, where changes occurred, they typically involved HUCs along the coast or those near or crossing a State boundary.

Quick Reference:

Sub-Basins – 8-digit HUCs have stayed the same under the new national system

Watersheds – 11- digit HUCs have been replaced by 10-digit HUCs

Sub-Watersheds – 14-digit HUCs have been replaced by 12-digit HUCs

Where can I find water quality monitoring data for my watershed?

All of DHEC’s water quality data is housed in EPA’s STORET database. STORET can be accessed through the EPA website. If you need assistance downloading data from STORET, text instructions or graphic and text instructions are available. Please be aware that due to the time it takes for data to be quality assured and uploaded into the database, there may be up to a 2-year lag time in available STORET data. If you have questions about your local surface water quality, your Watershed Manager may be able to help you.

Can DHEC use volunteer water quality monitoring data?

Any organization interested in submitting water quality data for regulatory purposes (such as the 303(d) list) should use laboratories certified by the DHEC Office of Environmental Laboratory Certification for the test methods of record. We strongly encourage you to contact the DHEC Office of Quality Assurance and submit a Quality Assurrance Project Plan (QAPP) for approval prior to initiating sampling. For the Department to use any non-DHEC data in development of the 303(d) list, submittal of non-DHEC data should be accompanyed with an approved QAPP. For additional information, please contact Wade Cantrell.

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Who should I contact if I have a drinking water problem?

DHEC regulates all public water systems (PWS) and is responsible for insuring that these public water systems are in compliance with all state and federal regulations. Local municipal, county and other government entities, along with private water suppliers are directly responsible for the quality of the water that flows to your faucet. However, If you own a residential well, you are responsible for the quality of your water.

For information on your drinking water, call your water supplier or your local DHEC regional office. If you are on a public water system, you can find contact information on your water bill. If you are concerned about the water quality of your private well, you may contact DHEC’s Residential Well Program for more information.

Where can I find information about health advisories?

DHEC issues advisories for freshwaters (swimming advisories), saltwaters (beach advisories) and fish consumption. More information about each of these advisory programs can be found here.

Who should I contact about water classifications and standards?

If you have specific questions about South Carolina’s water quality standards (R.61-68) or the Triennial Review process, you can contact Jason Gillespie, Water Quality Standards Coordinator at (803) 898-4330.

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How can I get involved in my watershed?

Your Watershed Manager can help you connect with watershed organizations in your area or help you start your own. For tips on how to keep your local waterways clean, you can also visit DHEC’s runoff pollution webpage.

What are the priority watersheds for South Carolina?

DHEC and EPA Region 4 have established 7 priority watersheds across the state. These include the following

03050109 (Saluda)
030601100301 (May River)
03060106 (Middle Savannah)
030502080606 (Okatie River)
0304020106, 0304020107 (Black Creek)
03050206 (Lower Edisto) 
030502090201, 030502090202 (Sewee-Santee)

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A map of South Carolina’s major river basins and priority watersheds.

Did you know? Runoff is the #1 source of water pollution in South and U.S.


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