Watershed Plan for Sediment in the North Saluda River and Saluda Lake


Table of Contents and Executive Summary


 Project Overview


Confluence of the North and South Saluda Rivers after a rain
Confluence of the North and South Saluda Rivers during stormflow.

Save Our Saluda, in cooperation with seventeen partnering organizations, developed a watershed plan to address sediment in the North Saluda River and Saluda Lake. The watershed plan lays the groundwork for implementation of best management practices (BMPs) and other measures for sediment control to protect and improve the health of the river and lake, which are drinking water sources for local communities. 

Sediment fills in streams, rivers and lakes and carries with it pollutants like bacteria, nutrients, and metals that further degrade water quality.

"The North Saluda River and Saluda Lake are significantly impacted by sediment. Water quality and aquatic habitat are degraded, recreational opportunities are diminished, and downstream drinking water sources are affected by excess sediment, particularly from the North Saluda River. The watershed plan for the North Saluda River and Saluda Lake is a roadmap for restoration and protection efforts to address this problem. We are especially excited about the wonderful partnership of local stakeholders that made this planning effort possible." - Melanie Ruhlman, President, Save Our Saluda.

Partner representatives formed the Technical Advisory Stakeholder Committee (TASC), which helped to inform and guide the project. The approved plan enables eligibility for acquisition of grant funding for implementation of BMPs, such as agricultural cover crops and vegetated riparian buffers along waterways. The first project site has been identified and is located near Marietta. The initial phase of BMPs has been installed at the site, which is leased for farming.  

watershed planning area and siteNorth Saluda - Saluda Lake Watershed Planning Area (shaded area) and project site (red dot). Blue line is the Upper Saluda Watershed boundary.


Saluda Lake
"Saluda Lake is a valuable resource to the Upstate both as a drinking water supply and a recreational outlet. It is our shared responsibility to preserve this resource for current and future generations. By implementing best management practices to control sediment runoff to the North Saluda River, we are taking a big step in protecting this valuable resource." - Joel Ledbetter, General Manager, Easley Combined Utilities


dredging    IMG 3073 

Saluda Lake was dredged in 2011-2012 at a cost of seven million dollars. In 2018, the dredged area was already 2/3 filled in again.

This project was funded through the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) Nonpoint Source Program with support from the partnership.

Thank you to our partners!

partners of SOS