Columbia, SC—The SC Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) has awarded a $330,000 Section 319 grant to Richland County to promote water quality improvements in the Twenty-five Mile Creek Watershed. Twenty-five Mile Creek is a tributary of the Wateree River, and the watershed includes lands in northeastern Richland, western Kershaw, and southern Fairfield Counties. Periodic monitoring data suggests the stream may experience elevated levels of bacteria and macro-invertebrate community impairments.
Factors affecting water quality in the watershed may include agriculture, suburban and urban development, sanitary sewer overflows, and failing septic systems. The 319 Grant will focus on agricultural activities in the watershed by providing financial incentives and technical assistance for landowners to implement Best Management Practices (BMPs). These BMPs will include fencing, stream crossings, and alternative water sources to keep livestock out of waterways and away from fragile streambanks as well as manure composting facilities to prevent fresh manure from being carried into waterways by stormwater runoff.
The Section 319 Grant program was established in 1987 to provide funding for efforts to reduce nonpoint source pollution. Funds are allocated to state and tribal agencies by the US Environmental Protection Agency, and States and Tribes then allocate these funds to public and non-profit organizations through a competitive process to address pollution concerns.
Richland County will work closely with the Richland and Kershaw Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Kershaw County, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and other partners to implement this three-year initiative. Interested landowners in the Twenty-five Mile Creek Watershed should contact Quinton Epps at firstname.lastname@example.org or (803) 576-2080 for more information.
Conservation Districts are political subdivisions of state government under the local direction of five-member Boards of Commissioners. In South Carolina, Conservation District boundaries conform to County boundaries. The Richland Soil and Water Conservation District promotes the wise use of natural resources for the benefit of the citizens of Richland County.
Richland Soil and Water Conservation District
2020 Hampton Street, Room 3063A
Columbia, SC 29204
Phone (803) 576-2080
Fax (803) 576-2088