The South Carolina water supply is almost entirely comprised of surface water. Multiple rivers, many streams, and vast acres of lakes provide all the water South Carolinians need.
While having a steady supply of water is obviously a great thing, surface water is left vulnerable to numerous contaminants. Industrial runoff, agricultural contamination, and residential pollutants all enter streams and rivers leaving water supplies in need of treatment.
Water treatment is a modern miracle, protecting millions of people from chemical and bacterial contaminants that would otherwise make you ill. Unfortunately, there are still some negative side effects like poor water quality.
Like any water source that travels over land, the water in South Carolina often features absorbed minerals and earth metals. This leads to a condition called hard water, which is safe to drink but can cause problems around the house.
Common Water Problems by City
Each town and city handles the sourcing and treatment of its water supply differently. This can lead to a variety of conditions even when the water comes from the same main source.
Bushy Park Reservoir
Broad River Canal
Table Rock Reservoir
North Saluda Reservoir
Pee Dee River
Any scene from Charleston invariably highlights water everywhere. The Edisto river provides water to most Charleston residents. The Edisto is relatively free from harmful contaminants and provides good tasting water that is safe to drink after typical treatments.
Unfortunately, Charleston residents will experience typical impacts of a river that travels over 250 miles from source to treatment. Absorbed minerals create a condition popularly known as hard water.
Hard water is notorious for causing dry skin after bathing. It also leads to limescale buildup in plumbing and supply lines that can cause a reduction in efficiency.
Lake Murray sees its fair share of contaminants. Fortunately, Columbia residents can rest assured their water is safe after being treated at the Columbia Canal Water Treatment facility.
The water treatment process does lead to an unpleasant smell and taste you might notice when drinking a glass of water or cup of coffee. The water is safe to drink but can be off-putting due to some of the chemicals used to clean it.
Hard water is also prevalent in Columbia households. Dry skin is a typical symptom of hard water. The hard water can also combine with soap and create a difficult to clean film known as soap scum.
Multiple reservoirs and Lake Keowee provide the city of Greenville with its potable water. The water emanating from these sources is often hard, as it has had time to absorb natural minerals and metals.
Hard water creates many nuisances including limescale and soap scum buildup on surfaces. Limescale can also reduce the efficiency of appliances. After bathing in hard water, you will often notice dry skin or an itchy scalp.
Greenville residents often notice discoloration in their water. This often comes from sediment entering the supply. The discoloration is harmless aside from its potential to stain laundry and areas where water collects.
While sitting on the ocean, Myrtle Beach obviously needs to source from a freshwater supply. It does so by utilizing water from the Waccamaw and Pee Dee Rivers, both representing portions of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway.
When visiting Myrtle Beach you will notice the water tastes great. This is because the source is relatively clean and requires a less aggressive treatment plan.
It is not all sunshine and roses in Myrtle Beach, however. Hard water is prevalent and causes residents to experience dry skin and itchy scalp after bathing. Hard water can also cause issues with plumbing and appliances if limescale is allowed to collect in pipes or supply lines.