Watershed Protection Plan keeps Columbia County waters clean


Columbia County has been making sure the water in our backyards, our docks, and even that which goes in our cup is sanitary.

Clean water is something many take for granted, but for the past eight years, it;s been one of the focus’s for the county.

Compliance Manage for Columbia County Water Utilities, Margaret Doss, says, “we were required to do some monitoring of the creeks and streams in Columbia County to which the treatment plants discharge.”

Doss is talking about waste water treatment plants.

About five years of monitoring and a few more for assessment, the Watershed Protection Plan is in it’s final stages.

“What we’re into now is saying ‘here’s the state of our creeks and streams. Here’s what we need to do to protect them, and what we might need to do to make them better,” says Doss.

Even though our drinking water comes from the Savannah River, maintenance of other local waters is important.

“There is a chance that some of those molecules of water can end up being pulled into our drinking water treatment plant because we pull out of the Savannah River for the majority of our drinking water,” says Doss.

She says our storm water flows into our creeks and streams when it rains. She also says that just cause it’s a drain, doesn’t mean people should spill waste there.

“If somebody decided they want to dump a can of paint down a storm drain, well then the next time it rains, that’s going to get washed down into the creek and that’s going to kill the bugs in that immediate vicinity,” says Doss.

She says it’s the circle of life. Healthy wildlife means healthy water, which means a healthy ‘us.’

“We need to keep the water clean. We need to protect the environment. We need to protect the public health. We need to make sure all the fish are good. All the insects in that area are good. That we are not doing anything to endanger any of the wildlife that we have,” says Doss.

Although water utility workers do what they can, Doss says it’s a community effort.

There are ways you can do your part to make sure the water stays clean.

Doss says grass clippings, over-fertilizing, oil spills, and animal droppings can make an impact.

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