Our detailed weekly water quality testing has indicated 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 require us to intervene and utilize algaecide applications in specific areas of Municipal Reservoir #1. We will not be treating Lake Bowen at this time. The treatment will begin tomorrow, May 17.
With this application we will be using an EPA regulated algaecide product that utilizes a hydrogen peroxide base to remove algae. This algaecide product will be applied in a targeted area of Reservoir #1. Hydrogen peroxide applications are not as effective as chelated copper in addressing algae growth, but are an excellent alternative to greatly reduce the potential risk of any additional losses of fish as a result of the treatment.
We did, however, want to address some questions from some of our local fishermen regarding the recent losses of roughly 80 bluegill (bream) in Lake Blalock and 50 bluegill in Lake Bowen that were observed over the weekend. Natural fish loss does happen, and quite often at this time of year. This “Frequently Asked Questions” document includes some helpful information from third party sources that better describes what is occurring now and during other times of the year when natural fish losses occur: https://bit.ly/3O8KQs2
Additionally, we wanted to ensure you were aware that the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) will be performing a scheduled re-stocking of Triploid Grass Carp at Lake Bowen and Municipal Reservoir #1 as part of their annual mortality stocking. Triploid Grass Carp are sterile and do not reproduce, but are a valuable, natural way to help control aquatic vegetation in the reservoirs. This is not related to the recent fish loss, as we are still awaiting the public report to be issued by SCDNR.
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