Experts to begin application of environmentally-friendly products to combat algae growth

May 14, 2019

With the arrival of warmer temperatures, Spartanburg Water has observed a rise in algae that could affect the taste and odor of our drinking water if left untreated. Spartanburg Water, in an ongoing partnership with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, is taking a proactive and environmentally-friendly approach to reduce algae levels in Lake Bowen and Municipal Reservoir #1.

The application of algaecides is a familiar best management practice used to reduce the presence of taste-and-odor causing algae. What’s new this year are the recommended algaecide products that our engineering experts and our partners at the SCDNR said are proven to be even more environmentally safe.

“We have used these peroxide-based algaecides with no side effects,” said Chris Page with the SCDNR-Aquatic Invasive Species Program.

Hazen and Sawyer, a global engineering firm focused on water-related issues, developed a prescription specific to Lake Bowen and Municipal Reservoir #1 at a dosage that is non-toxic to the ecosystem and to the fish and aquatic plants that live there. According to the prescription developed by these experts, the upcoming algaecide application will consist of 21.3 acres on Lake Bowen and 76 acres on Municipal Reservoir #1.

This treatment method is safe and will not impact lake activities. Water treated with these algaecides may be used for recreation immediately after they are administered.

Spartanburg Water will continue to perform extensive water quality monitoring and collect data regularly in order to optimize treatment. Algaecides are one of many tools we use to uphold our mission to provide quality drinking water in a reliable manner to the nearly 200,000 people we serve.

Spartanburg Water will notify stakeholders before the algaecide application process begins. You can sign up to receive lake alerts here.

To read our Environmentally-friendly Algaecide FAQ's, click here.