The Power of Information

National Drinking Water Database

South Carolina

103 systems serving 2,236,545 people

This drinking water quality report shows results of tests conducted by water utilities in South Carolina, provided to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) by the South Carolina Department of Health & Environmental Control. It is part of EWG's national database that includes 47,667 drinking water utilities and 20 million test results from 45 states and the District of Columbia. Water utilities nationwide detected more than 300 pollutants between 2004 and 2009. More than half of these chemicals are unregulated, legal in any amount. Despite this widespread contamination, the federal government invests few resources in protecting rivers, reservoirs, and groundwater from pollution in the first place. The information below summarizes drinking water quality for this state.

Water Utilities
Population Served
Detected Chemicals
Exceed health guidelines*
Exceed Legal Limits*
Unregulated chemicals detected
* Water utilities are noted as exceeding the legal limit if any test is above the maximum contaminant level (MCL). Most MCLs are based on annual averages so exceeding the MCL for one test does not necessarily indicate that the system is out of compliance.

15 Contaminants Exceeding Health Based Limits

Contaminants detected in South Carolina drinking water above health guidelines, according to an Environmental Working Group analysis of data obtained from state water authorities

Number of Systems
At Any Level Above Health Limits At Any Level Above Health Limits
Total haloacetic acids (HAAs)672,308669,0016261
Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs)682,992584,9917629
Lead (total)376,720376,7201414
Dichloroacetic acid110,150110,15066
Trichloroacetic acid437,77081,83373

Water Utilities in South Carolina Reporting Chemicals Exceeding Health Guidelines

Water utilities in South Carolina reporting chemicals exceeding health guidelines, according to an Environmental Working Group analysis of data obtained from state water authorities, include:

Chemicals tested
Chemicals found
Chemicals exceeding
health guidelines
Isle of Palms W/S Comm9,993129127
City of North Augusta25,58112487
Anderson Regional Wtr Sy1012986
Allendale Ind Pk3,0007376
Breezy Hill W/D10,861129106
Westinghouse/Srs A-Area12,204125125
City of Aiken36,45713055
Ussc/Purdy Shores24213165
Mohawk Industries45012555
St James-Santee Fhc,inc2612644
MT Pleasant Water Works54,30912954
Charleston Water System327,62012584
Upper Calhoun/Belleville1,2578954
AD Hare Waterworks Inc1,74012344
Broad Creek PSD8,14612964
Hilton Head PSD # 111,40812954
Town of Omi-Blackville3,16612964
Town of Ehrhardt61412154
Bamberg-Public Works5,40812164

Sources of South Carolina Drinking Water Contaminants

The contaminants identified in South Carolina drinking water come from a wide variety of sources, including agriculture, industry, water treatment plants, and polluted storm runoff from urban areas.

21Total Contaminants Detected (2004 - 2008)
1Agricultural Pollutants
(pesticides, fertilizer, factory farms)


4Sprawl and Urban Pollutants
(road runoff, lawn pesticides, human waste)

Copper, Lead (total), Mercury (total inorganic), Nitrate

8Industrial Pollutants

Lead (total), Mercury (total inorganic), Nitrate, Alpha particle activity (excl radon and uranium), Alpha particle activity (incl. radon & uranium), Combined Radium (-226 & -228), Radium-226, Radium-228

12Water Treatment and Distribution Byproducts
(pipes and fixtures, treatment chemicals and byproducts)

Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs), Total haloacetic acids (HAAs), Chloroform, Bromodichloromethane, Dibromochloromethane, Dichloroacetic acid, Trichloroacetic acid, Bromoform, Dibromoacetic acid, Monochloroacetic acid, Bromochloroacetic acid, Monobromoacetic acid

9Naturally Occurring
(naturally present but increased for lands denuded by sprawl, agriculture, or industrial development)

Copper, Lead (total), Mercury (total inorganic), Nitrate, Alpha particle activity (excl radon and uranium), Alpha particle activity (incl. radon & uranium), Combined Radium (-226 & -228), Radium-226, Radium-228

2Unregulated Contaminants
EPA has not established a maximum legal limit in tapwater for these contaminants

Lead (total), Bromochloroacetic acid

Testing Summary for South Carolina

The federal government has set standards for some of the pollutants found in tap water supplies.

Contaminants reported as tested by water suppliers in South Carolina133
 Contaminants tested due to federal law: 87
 Contaminants tested in addition to those required by federal law: 46

Violation Summary for South Carolina

Data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency includes the following violations of federal standards in South Carolina since 2004

Violation TypeNumber of Violations
Failure to monitor, Routine Major (Coliform bacteria)298
Over maximum contaminant level, Average266
Maximum contaminant level, Monthly (Coliform bacteria)159
Failure to report information to the public or state agency in the Consumer Confidence Report150
Follow-up and Routine Tap Sampling97
Failure to monitor, Routine Minor (Coliform bacteria)42
Failure to monitor, Repeat Major (Coliform bacteria)41
Failure to monitor regularly30
Initial Water Quality Parameter Monitoring and Reporting27
Monitoring and Reporting Disinfection Byproduct Rule26
Failure to monitor, Repeat Minor (Coliform bacteria)19
Optimal Corrosion Control Treatment Study Recommendation9
Public Education8
Over maximum contaminant level, Single Sample7
Failure to notify public of violation7
Filter Turbidity Reporting7
Treatment Technique Precursor Removal6
Maximum contaminant level, Acute (Coliform bacteria)5
Excess Turbidity at 1 NTU4
Initial Tap Sampling for Lead and Copper4
Excess Turbidity at 0.3 NTU3
Water Quality Program Entry Point Non-Compliance3
Acute maximum residual disinfectant level1
Optimal Corrosion Control Treatment Installation/Demonstration1
Other Non-National Primary Drinking Water Regulations Potential Health Risks1
Failure to monitor or report, Routine/Repeat (Indicators of microbial or virus contamination)1