Healthy Bowen

As temperatures continue to rise and the days become longer, it’s a perfect time to enjoy our precious natural resources. Summer is the best season to consider new ways that we can all work together protect Lake Bowen’s ecosystem and ensure great tasting drinking water.

Lake Bowen is changing. When it was first constructed nearly 60 years ago, the reservoir had many years to become a fully developed ecosystem. Now, the increased development around the lake and up in the watershed has resulted in the accumulation of nutrients—the result of run-off from properties around the lake and development up above the reservoirs.  These changes impact the reservoir’s ’s ecology will inspire their own set of partnerships,  challenges and opportunities—for the strategic management of the watershed, as well as how we enjoy our precious natural resources.

When planning your lawn maintenance for the summer months, please consider the importance of reducing any kind of run-off into the lake. The Lake Bowen Irrigation Plan must be consulted and followed to ensure water quality. The homes around Lake Bowen are served by septic tanks, and over-saturation of the soil from irrigation practices can lead to runoff of household and human waste into the lake. This is unhealthy for all those who live around the lake and for recreational users, and is a threat to the entire community’s drinking water supply.

Our friends at Clemson Extension suggest that you establish a 10-to-30-foot "no fertilizer, no pesticide" zone along the shoreline. This one simple tip will help you keep your yard and Lake Bowen healthy and beautiful.

But, why? The fertilizers that we all use to keep our yards healthy and green—even the organic varieties—can actually have the opposite effect when introduced into a lake. Over time, these fertilizers encourage the growth of more algae, as well as invasive aquatic weeds, like Bladderwort. Quite simply, the drinking water for our community needs to be protected from these impacts.

Yet another way to protect the ecosystem is a little less obvious, but very important: Performing maintenance on your septic system and making sure that it is pumped regularly by a septic cleaning professional. Like a watershed, your septic system is its own ecosystem and must be managed carefully to prevent failures that can introduce harmful nutrients and bacteria to lakes and rivers.

Please take a look at the following resources to help us keep our lake healthy and click here for more information.

Irrigation Plan
Fact Sheet
Irrigation Permit Application
Irrigation Plan Overview
Water Conservation
Irrigation Plan Implementation

Lake Bowen Irrigation Plan

Lake Bowen provides an excellent source of high quality drinking water for the people of the Spartanburg area. Protection of this resource is needed to ensure that current and future generations will continue to enjoy drinking water from the reservoir and also have excellent opportunities for outdoor recreation and education. Protection of the reservoir begins with the surrounding watershed and associated land use practices. Spartanburg Water has developed a policy aimed at protecting water quality and quantity by managing withdrawals around Lake Bowen for private irrigation.

The City of Spartanburg Commisioners of Public Works approved the Lake Bowen Irrigation Plan by resolution in May 2009 and amended it in January 2014. A copy of the final plan is now available by clicking the link below or may be picked up at the Lake Bowen Wardens' office located at 8515 Highway 9 during normal hours of operation (Monday - Sunday 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.)