Policies and Guidance

Spartanburg Water maintains ownership of our drinking water reservoirs, including shoreline property above the water's edge. We take this responsibility seriously and follow a strict set of policies and procedures to ensure the long-term health and quality of the reservoirs that supply our community with its drinking water.

We have adopted specific policies and procedures that govern Lake Blalock. To access them, please follow this link:

Spartanburg Water System Policies and Procedures for Use of Water Supply Reservoirs

Amendment to the Policies and Procedures as of January 22, 2019

Spartanburg Water's Commissioners approved a new set of policies for the use of portable fire rings on SWS-owned land surrounding Lake Bowen and Lake Blalock.

Click here to access the Portable Fire Ring Policy: Portable Fire Ring Policy Amendment.

Lake Blalock Management Plan

Much of the landscape within and around Lake Blalock is rural. Although growth around the lake is expected to be minimal over the next 25 years, lakefront property development is expected to significantly increase. To prepare for lakefront growth, Spartanburg Water has developed a buffer management plan for Lake Blalock to provide bank stability, maintain wildlife habitat, and filter out runoff pollution. Read here: Lake Blalock Buffer Management Plan

Recreational Rules and Regulations

Spartanburg Water has adopted specific rules and regulations that govern any recreational activities on Lake Blalock. These rules and regulations have been adopted to ensure that all users of Lake Blalock conduct their recreational activities in a safe and conscientious manner. Before participating in any recreational activities on Lake Blalock, please read the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources Boating Regulations and the Spartanburg Water Lake Policy and Procedures.

For a list of native plants that can be planted on Spartanburg Water-owned property, go to Native Plant Reference Guidance.

Other Resources:

Lake Blalock Electrical Indemnity Agreement

SWS Indemnity and Hold Harmless Agreement Related to Electric Wiring

Spartanburg Water Guidelines for Marine Structures and Maintenance

Guidelines for recreational structures erected on Lake Blalock are governed by Spartanburg Water's Guidelines for Marine Structures and the following: 

Marine Structure Emergency Repair Guidance

Marine Structure Maintenance Guidance

Marine Structure Reconfiguration Guidance

Marine Structure Replacement Guidance

Marine Structures Frequently Asked Questions:

Where can I apply for a Marine Structures permit?

You may obtain a Combined Land Permit Application by clicking here and selecting the desired permit(s) that you wish to apply for. All applications must be filled out completely and accompanied with pictures and a planting plan to mitigate damages done to the buffer. You can also call the Lake Bowen Warden’s office at 864-592-2240 or the Lake Blalock Warden’s Office at 864-578-5442 if you need assistance with the permitting process. Our staff is very knowledgeable about the permit process. Please contact us if you need assistance.

When do I need to apply for a new permit?

Anytime you are wishing to do any work on Spartanburg Water property. Failure to get a new permit may result in unwanted delays, suspension or cancellation of approved applications, increase in fees, modification or removal of the non-complying structure, and/or withdrawal of permission to have a dock on the particular lot.

How much does a permit cost?

There are different costs associated with each permit application. You can see a detailed list here.

How long does it take to get my permit back once I submit all my information?

Certain times of the year the dock permitting process may take longer than others because of demand. Spartanburg Water has a goal of trying to issue permits in about 20-30 days of receiving the permit application; however, some circumstances may increase the turnaround time.

I just received my new permit. How long do I have to put my dock in place?

Permits are valid for one year from the date of issuance on the approval form and the dock must be installed within that time frame. Failure to install will result in the need to reapply for a permit.

What things should I consider when determining the length of the walkway needed?

Maximum walkway lengths for both Type A and B docks are 18 feet. If you would like a longer walkway, you must submit a dock application for a Type C dock accompanied by a stamped drawing by a certified South Carolina Professional Engineer and will be considered on a case by case basis.

I have less than 40 feet of shoreline. What is the maximum size dock I can have installed?

The minimum amount of shoreline required to have a dock is 40 feet at the water’s edge. One can determine their shoreline be extending their side lot lines beyond the Spartanburg Water contour to the water’s edge. If you do not have 40 feet at the water’s edge, you will not be permitted to have a dock.

I would like to have a two story dock. Is this allowed?

A two story dock is not allowed on any of Spartanburg Water’s reservoirs.

I want to sell my dock to another lot owner on the lake. What do I need to do?

Before finalizing the sale, be sure you and the buyer of the existing dock have applied for and received approval for a permit through Spartanburg Water. Spartanburg Water will need to be aware of where your existing dock will be going. You will need a permit to remove your dock, as well as the new owner will need a permit to place the dock in its new location.

I want to install a new dock in place of my existing dock. What is the process for disposing of the old dock?

First, you will need to complete the application process and receive an approved permit from Spartanburg Water. Spartanburg Water needs to be notified of your intentions of disposing of the old dock and requires that the old dock be removed within 14 days after completing the installation of the new permitted dock.

How far away does my dock need to be from my neighbors dock?

All docks must be at least 14 feet from the neighboring projected property line.

My dock just got installed. Do I need to contact Spartanburg Water or does my dock manufacturer?

As a courtesy, you should contact Spartanburg Water Lake Office to inform them that the dock has been installed so that the final dock inspection can be preformed.

What is the maximum square footage for a marine structure on Spartanburg Water reservoirs?

The maximum square footage for a marine structure is 924 feet2. The structure may consist of multiple devices, but may only occupy one uninterrupted footprint not exceeding 924 feet2. The structure may only have one tie in to the shore and may contain up to, but not exceed, one dock and walkway, 2 boat lifts, and a double personal watercraft lift. No marine structure may extend beyond one-third the width of a cove and at all times must be configured so that it is a minimum of 14 feet from the adjacent parcels projected sidelines.

Do I need to apply for a permit if I plan on installing a boat lift or PWC lift?

Yes, a permit is required for all work done on Spartanburg Water reservoirs.  When applying for any lift permit, you must remember that the lift is calculated into the maximum allowable square footage of 924 feet2.

I have an existing dock and would like to add a cantilevered dock box frame on the side for my dock box. Will I need to get a permit?

Yes, a permit is required for all work done on Spartanburg Water reservoirs.  If the frame for the dock box changes the original foot print of the dock then it will be counted towards the maximum allowable square footage of 924 feet2.

Do I need insurance on my dock?

Yes, get it in writing, and continuously check for the presence of its coverage in renewal policies! We have seen circumstances where customers were told the dock was included in the policy, but to the surprise of the insurance agent and customer, the dock was excluded in a renewal policy and subsequently was not covered when significant storm damaged occurred.