SCE&G to Conduct Aquatic Studies on Lower Saluda River
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (May 31, 2007) – As part of the Saluda Hydroelectric Plant relicensing process, SCE&G will perform a detailed study of aquatic habitat in the lower Saluda River Sunday, June 3, through Friday, June 8, from approximately 7 am to 6 pm each day. The study, known as the Instream Flow Incremental Methodology study (IFIM), is a widely accepted scientific method used by many utilities to gather data when seeking an operating license from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for a hydroelectric project.

Study methodology requires scientists and biologists to establish approximately 20 transects across the lower Saluda River and collect information such as habitat types, water depth, water surface elevations and water velocity measurements at various flows released from the dam.

To collect data, field crews will establish Kevlar cables across the river at each transect where data is to be collected. The cables are used to stabilize the boats in which the scientists are collecting the required data. The cables will be marked with orange flagging and will be manned by a field crew at all times. The field crews will move across the cabled transects laterally collecting data which may present an obstacle to boaters and other river users.

The location of the field scientists and transects where they are collecting data will vary from day to day. Locations of the transects range from just below the Saluda Dam to the confluence with the Broad River.

“We urge river-goers to use extreme caution and to watch out for the cables and field scientists during the study,” said Jim Landreth, vice president of Fossil and Hydro Operations for SCE&G. “The public should also be aware of changing water levels and pay attention to all signage and siren notifications along the river.”