Improved Septic Systems Aid Water Quality
The Charleston Soil and Water Conservation District and partners, based on information provided by the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium and S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control, recently installed 62 replacement septic systems and repaired four systems in the Sewee to Santee priority watershed.
Sites for the repair and replacement of septic systems were focused in areas with underprivileged households, mainly in the towns of McClellanville and Awendaw, S.C.
Eight homeowner septic education workshops were held, starting in July 2009 and ending in September 2012.
Other elements included implementation of best management practices (BMPs) on pastureland or hobby farms, pet waste control, marine sanitary waste measures, and an extensive education and outreach campaign targeting both home and watercraft owners.
Eliminating septic system backups in the household or sewage outbreaks in the yard reduced the amount of fecal coliform bacteria going into waterways, helping to improve water quality and contributing to the re-opening of 883 acres of shellfish harvesting beds near McClellanville.
This project was funded by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Section 319 grant program for non-point source pollution management.