5:00 PM EST
Friday, May 12, 2023
Message from CEO Guy Boyle Re: Upcoming Algaecide Treatment Beginning May 17
We are still waiting to hear the results of the report compiled by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) regarding the loss of shad that occurred at Lake Bowen on March 30. Once we have these details, as well as any details from the catfish losses that occurred during the second week of April, we will share the information with you.
Our detailed weekly water quality testing continues to show elevated levels of Geosmin in our drinking water reservoirs. Geosmin, though harmless, is a byproduct of increased algae growth that can lead to taste and odor concerns with our finished drinking water. At this time, the levels of this Geosmin byproduct that we have been monitoring require us to intervene and utilize algaecide applications in specific areas of both Lake Bowen and Municipal Reservoir #1. The treatments will begin this coming Wednesday, May 17.
The chelated copper algaecide prescription that we normally use for algaecide applications, and that was used on March 30, is considered safe, effective and is approved by the EPA for use in drinking water. However, with this application we will be using another EPA regulated algaecide treatment that does not utilize chelated copper. The application will utilize a hydrogen peroxide base to remove algae. This algaecide product will be applied in a targeted area of Lake Bowen and Reservoir #1. Hydrogen peroxide applications are not as effective as chelated copper in addressing algae growth, but have a shorter shelf life, so we are hopeful the the application greatly reduces the potential risk of any additional losses of fish.
As with every algaecide application applied, we have contacted SCDNR and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) to inform both agencies of our intent to apply this round of treatment.
We understand that an additional algaecide application so close behind one that resulted in a fish loss can be concerning. Serving as stewards of our natural environment and the drinking water source for more than 200,000 customers can be a very difficult and challenging balancing act, but any action to perform treatments is well thought out prior to any application. I am confident in our team’s ability to make the right decisions that protect our drinking water and the natural environment, and I fully support this team of professionals who are making every effort to protect and to provide clean, safe drinking water.
Thank you for your continued trust and support as we work to ensure continued access for our community to high quality drinking water services. Please continue to feel free to reach out at any time.
Chief Executive Officer