Hydrology - Open-File Report 17

Water Quality Conditions in Beaufort County, from Data Collected During April of 1984

H.D. Spencer



During the past two years, the Beaufort Office has maintained a water quality-monitoring network in Beaufort County. Nearly 200 wells have been sampled for chloride concentrations throughout the county since April of 1982. Currently, 70 wells are monitored twice a year for chloride content. The monitoring network has been reduced in size in order to troubleshoot the areas that are known to be susceptible to saltwater contamination.

Approximately 60% of the wells that comprise the monitoring network are located on Hilton Head Island. The remaining wells are dispersed along the coastal sea island area of Beaufort County. The reason for the high concentration of monitoring wells at Hilton Head Island is that data collected in the past suggests that saltwater movement is occurring at an unknown rate toward the northern end of the island. The map enclosed shows the various locations where wells are known to contain high concentrations of chlorides.

Network Conditions

At the present, network conditions are good. Very few wells have been replaced in the past two years. Several new wells are now monitored in areas that have recently become victims of saltwater contamination. The greater part of the monitoring wells in the network is pumping wells that discharge daily. The other wells are unused and do not have pumps. Point samples are collected at various depths from these wells.

Currently, at least one well is being monitored in each grid on Hilton Head Island. The remaining coastal portions of Beaufort County are sparsely monitored, with attention being directed towards specific problem areas.

This open-file report is available for review in the SCDNR's Columbia office.