Support Us Button Widget

A guide to gauging water quality in Charleston

water-quality-guide-charleston
Table of Contents

Enterocci. (noun) Bacteria that survive easily in salt water, and thus are commonly monitored to gauge health risk to humans in waterways that are popular for swimming + other recreational activity.

Yep – bacteria may not be as sexy a threat as, say, sharks, but when it comes to our waterways, the risk is real. Bacteria doesn’t have fins, or big teeth, so ‘safe’ water can’t easily be distinguished from water with high levels of contamination. Fortunately, the local nonprofit Charleston Waterkeeper collects + analyzes samples from 15 popular sites across the region every Wednesday from May through October. Those results are published weekly, so the public can take the proper precautions.

[embed]https://giphy.com/gifs/humans-frogs-pPi4C78tUMgAE[/embed]

gif by giphy

⚠️According to South Carolina’s official water quality standards, water is considered safe to swim in if it the level of Enterococcus bacteria present at a given site measures less than 104 MPN/100 mL. If it registers at that amount or higher, it’s recommended if you take a raincheck on your paddleboarding trip – or at least choose another, cleaner route.

What factors can lead to high bacteria levels:

⛈ Storms

🌡 High temps

🚽 Sewers + septic tanks

⛵ Boats

🐶 Animal + pet waste

Here’s which areas you should avoid for the time being (as of May 30, 2019):

Parts of Shem Creek

The Brittlebank Park area of the Ashley River

Upper James Island / Ellis Creek

How to keep track of the latest water quality levels:

📱 Download the Swim Guide app

👍 Follow Charleston Waterkeeper on Facebook

💻 Check their website for the latest conditions

Poll

More from CHStoday
A downtown hotel and restaurant is offering The Flower Experience, for guests looking for a day of luxury + new adventures.
Swiftstay offers its members a place to stay for their weekend travel for the price of a cleaning fee.
Hank’s Seafood Restaurant has a fun spin on National Caviar Day
The Holy City is well represented on the world stage at the Paris 2024 Summer Olympics — these are some locals to watch.
The annual 10-day celebration of mayo and tomatoes is the best way to kick off tomato season.
Two historic storehouses have been renovated for mixed-use.
At least a dozen celebrities have been spotted around Charleston, check out which A-Listers have come to see what makes Charleston so special.
We’ve got details and a map full of drink deals: We’ll be highlighting the vibrant beverage scene across Charleston, SC from July 22 to July 26, 2024.
The Charleston Police Department will host some fun in Hampton Park with this Pixar classic.
Dive into the past of these iconic bridges.