Non-point source pollution
Both counties have passed riparian buffer protection ordinances. However, vigilance is needed as was the case on the Saluda in the past two years after heavy rainfalls. The lower Saluda River ran a bright orange color after rains, and the Lower Saluda Advisory Council chaired by Bill Marshall, SCDNR Rivers Programs, brought in for questioning at my request the Lexington County staff responsible for enforcing their buffer laws (note, the buffer laws were also requested by the Advisory Council before they were adopted and county staff hired). The focus was on the new high school off Corley Mill Road which was put in a very expensive construction site for water control with very high development costs for county residents. No proof was found that runoff from that site was the culprit. The explanation from Lexington County was that the silt was an accumulation of runoff after storms from the hundreds of permitted sites. Fortunately development has slowed down in the county, but will pick back up with the economy. So, continued vigilance is needed, and advocacy will need to be initiated, especially with the Lower Saluda Advisory Council and the Congaree Riverkeeper, and Lexington County which permits and inspects construction projects.