Greenville County Sampling/Monitoring Network


Woolpert’s work with Greenville County, S.C. has resulted in one of the most progressive community-owned water quality monitoring networks in the southeast. The network consists of multiple rain gauges, the most advanced continuous water monitoring equipment and remote telemetry. The infrastructure provides the data needed to evaluate and monitor water quality along the Reedy River, smaller streams and various watersheds.

Woolpert initially installed continuous monitoring equipment along the main stem of Reedy River and retained YSI Integrated Systems and Services to enhance and improve existing monitoring stations that were equipped to monitor pH, temperature, dissolved oxygen, turbidity, ammonium, conductivity and flow depth. The collaborative effort Woolpert has led with the county and YSI has led to additional benefits:

  • Expansion of the water monitoring network to include watersheds along the Saluda and Enoree rivers as well as Gilder, Brushy and Grove creeks and smaller land-use specific watersheds
  • Installation of a countywide permanent rain gauge network
  • Installation of real-time water quality monitoring buoys in Boyd’s Millpond, a regulatory point of compliance with the Reedy River Water Quality Group (RRWQG)

The network of 17 real-time water quality stations spans most of the county’s 795 square miles. Cellular remote telemetry installed at each water quality and rain gauge station enables the county and Woolpert to retrieve and analyze data every 15 minutes. Woolpert hosts project specific web pages to maintain the county’s real-time data, which enables a variety of tasks:

  • Development of quality control and standard operating procedures
  • Respond to indications of sensor drift or interference
  • Identify patterns of illicit discharge activity and track the anomalies to their sources
  • Provide the National Weather Service and the City of Greenville with information used in forecasting models and increasing situational awareness
  • Flow rating curve development and regression analysis to estimate total phosphorus and nitrogen levels, which RRWQG uses to calibrate the developing Reedy River watershed model

In addition to the continuous water quality monitoring program, Woolpert has performed work to meet project-specific objectives for the county:

Macroinvertebrate sampling: Woolpert contracted ETT Environmental Inc. to perform qualitative aquatic macroinvertebrate stream assessments at the Reedy River continuous monitoring stations. This effort included developing a biodiversity QAPP to guide sample collection and analysis, monitoring the impact of road salting activities during the winter and performing a toxicology analysis using native species of mayfly, stonefly and caddisfly.

Sediment Sampling: Woolpert has collected sediment samples from sources within the Reedy River Watershed that could impact sediment and associated nutrient loads in the river. Sources that have been sampled include construction sites, stream banks, stream beds and impoundment floors.

Rainfall Sampling: Woolpert collected rainfall samples during the county’s second permit cycle, which were analyzed by Rogers and Callcott Environmental, in an effort to characterize the concentrations of pollutants of concern associated with rainfall, a non-point source that is beyond the county’s control.

Microbial Source Tracking:  Woolpert collected and shipped manual grab samples to Source Molecular for the analysis of host organisms that may be sources of bacteria in the Mill Creek watershed.  Possible sources were identified by conducting field inspections prior to data collection. This analysis helped identify the presence of human bacteria at select locations which allowed the county to mitigate the sources.

Greenville County, South Carolina

Greenville County, S.C.