Spartanburg Water Guidelines for Marine Structures and Maintenance

Definitions

Marine Structure - a structure protruding from the shoreline with a single tie in whose purpose is for recreation.  The structure may consist of multiple devices, but may only occupy one uninterrupted footprint not exceeding 924 feet2. The structure may contain up to, but not exceed, one dock and walkway, two boatlifts, two personal watercraft lifts, and may not contain more than two boat slips.  
No marine structure may extend beyond one-third the width of a cove and configured so that it is a minimum of 14 feet from the adjacent parcels projected sidelines. Any application to make a change (addition, removal, replacement) to any component of a marine structure will require that the entire marine structure be brought to current SWS standards. This includes, but is not limited to, the installation or removal of a boatlift or PWC lift, the construction of additional decking or walkway, and the replacement of any aspect of the dock structure. All existing aspects of the marine structure must meet SWS standards prior to approval of the requested alterations.

Natural Stone - a stone that naturally occurs from the earth that is neither artificially colored, dyed, painted, manufactured, or manmade.

Cove - a small recessed inlet or bay from the main body of water whose length measures greater than its width

Qualifying Lot - recorded parcel with a minimum of two points abutting the Spartanburg Water owned contour and must have a minimum of 40ft of shoreline when projecting the parcel’s sidelines to the water’s edge.

Single Owner, Multi-Lot Rule - when parcel data indicates that an individual owns two or more adjacent parcels, only the parcel with an existing dwelling will be considered as a qualifying parcel.

Marine Structure
A structure protruding from the shoreline with a single tie-in whose purpose is for recreation. The structure may consist of multiple devices, but may only occupy one uninterrupted footprint not exceeding 924 feet2. The structure may contain up to, but not exceed, one dock and walkway, two boat lifts, two personal watercraft lifts, and may not contain more than two boat slips. 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.

Docks
Type A Dock: Dock structure in which the total length of stationary walkway and ramp are 18 feet, and the floating platform measures 12 feet x18 feet. The qualified applicant is not required to submit their own engineered drawing for this dock design provided all aspects of the materials and installation are to the standards outlined in the May 2017 edition of the SWS Policies and Procedures for Use of Water Supply Reservoirs.
Type B Dock: Dock structure in which the total length of stationary walkway and ramp are 18 feet, and the floating platform measures 24 feet x 28 feet with a 10 foot slip. A cover on this dock type is optional but not required; if included the cover must be hunter green in color. The qualified applicant is not required to submit their own engineered drawing for this dock design provided all aspects of the materials and installation are to the standards outlined in the May 2017 edition of the SWS Policies and Procedures for Use of Water Supply Reservoirs.
Type C Dock: Any qualifying dock not meeting the standards defined above. All qualified applicants for a type C Dock are required to submit a schematic (drawing) stamped by a South Carolina professional engineer with their prospective application package. Should both the permit application and structure agreement be approved by Spartanburg Water System (SWS), upon completion of construction a follow-up letter will be required to be submitted to SWS.  This letter should include a statement from the Engineer of record that certifies that the construction and installation of the Type C dock was performed in accordance with the engineered drawing and specifications submitted to SWS in the application package. Again, all Type C docks must be approved by SWS before they can be installed; submission of an engineered schematic does not guarantee that a dock will be approved. All Type C docks must meet the definition of a marine structure as outlined above, as well as comply with the standards outlined in the May 2017 edition of the SWS Policies and Procedures for Use of Water Supply Reservoirs.

Dock Slips
A dock slip is an area enclosed on three sides by a dock used to tie off or store watercraft. A slip may contain a boat or PWC lift following the submission and approval of the appropriate application and execution of a Private Structure Agreement (PSA), provided that lift fits within the existing footprint of the marine structure. Regardless of square footage, no marine structure is to contain more than two dock slips. Any application for a qualifying structure with two slips (that falls within the maximum 924 feet2 marine structure requirement) will be considered on a case-by-case basis, and will require supplemental plantings along the SWS buffer. Any dock containing more than one slip will be considered a Type C dock and require design and certification by a South Carolina Professional engineer to ensure the safety and suitability of the structures.

For a downloadable pdf of the definitions and acceptable marine structures, click here: Marine Structure Guidance Document.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I apply for a permit?
You may obtain a 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. For a detailed list of prices, click 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.