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Algae prevention efforts scheduled for Thursday, July 12,

and week of July 23

Experts begin limited application of environmentally friendly algaecide

The heat and the high intensity, short duration summer storms continue to create challenges for water quality in our drinking water reservoirs. In May, we applied an algaecide near the shoreline of Lake Bowen and Municipal Reservoir #1 to reduce the levels of a taste-and-odor compound called Geosmin. Our current testing in the reservoirs show the levels of Geosmin have been reduced. That’s the good news.

However, the levels of another algae that produces a taste-and-odor compound called Methylisoborneol (MIB) are steadily increasing. MIB was the culprit behind the taste and odor event in 2015 that lasted from June until December of that year.

That is the bad news. But we have a plan.

After consulting with our lake experts from Clemson University, AquaServices and regulatory agencies, we will be applying an algaecide on Lake Bowen in the early morning hours, beginning Thursday, July 12, with the possibility of extending into Friday, July 13. A follow-up application is scheduled for Reservoir #1 during the week of July 23. This is an environmentally friendly algaecide and will be applied away from the shoreline in approximately six to 20 feet of water.

Here’s the bottom line: We’d like to remind you that this method is absolutely safe and will not have an impact on any of your normal lake activities. In fact, this treatment and application process were specifically developed for Spartanburg Water by experts at Clemson University.

This method of proactively addressing spikes in algae growth is one tool in our toolbox. We must work together to protect our drinking water with some common sense limits on the use of materials that encourage algae growth. Consider these important reminders:

  •  Please refrain from using fertilizers of any kind on your lawn. Fertilizers encourage the growth of more algae when they wash into the lake. As a reminder, the use of fertilizers is not permitted on any Spartanburg Water property.

  •  Pick up all pet waste promptly to prevent it from washing into the lakes.

  •  Inspect and maintain septic tanks. There are environmental impacts when septic systems are not in proper working order.

You can read about new ways to help us protect our drinking water reservoirs in our Healthy Lakes newsletter. Please drop us a line at to be added to our mailing list.