Healthy Lakes Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Do I really need to bag my pet's waste if I am walking him outside?

A. On average, one-third of all households in the United States have a dog. Based on those statistics, there are currently over 43 million dogs in America and with that many dogs, comes a large amount of pet waste.

Unfortunately, recent studies have shown that most pet owners do not pick up after their pet’s waste. As a result, pet waste can get washed into a creek or stream, which will eventually flow into a river, lake or ocean. Pet waste contains several types of bacteria and viruses that can be harmful to humans and wildlife. Be considerate of others downstream and pick up after your pet’s waste and  dispose of pet waste in the trash or in a toilet.

Q. Do you have information on septic systems if I am not a sewer customer and live on or close to the lake?

A. All lakefront residents adjoining Spartanburg Water property are encouraged to maintain their septic systems. Improperly maintained septic systems can cause significant water quality problems. Septic tanks adjacent to Lake Blalock, Lake Bowen or Municipal Reservoir #1 that are observed to be malfunctioning or are documented as having chronic or recurring problems will be referred to the local Environmental Health Section of SCDHEC. For information regarding recommendations on septic tank cleaning frequency, click here. Notify a septic tank repair service or SCDHEC immediately if your septic tank is malfunctioning.

Keeping your septic tank properly maintained can now save you $45 dollars. The Spartanburg Sanitary Sewer District (SSSD) offers a rebate to property owners within the district for all septic waste that is disposed of at an approved SSSD treatment facility. Proof of septic cleaning must be submitted to be eligible for the rebate. Qualified customers may receive the refund only once per calendar year. For more information, please contact Celeste Johnson at (864) 598-7280 or by email at

Q. Is it okay to change my automobile oil and dump it on my private property?

A. Just one gallon of oil can contaminate one million gallons of water, decreasing water quality and impairing the habitat of thousands of plants and animals. Protect the environment and our water supply by taking your used oil to any of Spartanburg County’s 19 recycling centers.

Household hazardous chemicals, like cleaning supplies and paint, can significantly affect our water sources. Household hazardous chemicals can alter the pH and dissolved oxygen levels in creeks, streams, rivers and lakes, which can alter the ecological balance necessary for wildlife survival.