Using Beemats in Lake Whelchel, SC To Enhance Water Quality

Strategically placed floating wetlands substantially reduce phosphorous and nitrogen in local lake - improving water quality, enhancing recreational activities, and discouraging algae blooms

Vegetated beemats in local lake, helping to reduce phosphorous and nitrogen.
City of Gaffney
Gaffney, South Carolina

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Lake Whelchel, South Carolina is a dammed reservoir. Not only does it supply drinking water to the city of Gaffney, SC, but it is also enjoyed for recreational activities such as fishing, swimming, and boating. Unfortunately, the lake has been plagued with algae blooms year after year – especially during the summer months. In fact, in 2018 the lake topped the chart on the South Carolina Cyanotoxin Distribution Project list, holding its position for years. In addition, it placed on the 303d list for impaired waters in 2018.


Joining efforts with Gaffney, SC, Ferguson Waterworks strategically placed Beemats Floating Wetlands at the inflows of the lake. This was pivotal because the biggest contributor to the polluted water is runoff from nearby agricultural operations. So, by placing Beemats at these inflow locations, we expected to stop the pollutants in their tracks, before entering the main body of water.

Through periodic maintenance and data collection, we confirmed this solution was aiding our efforts and helping reduce phosphorous and nitrogen to improve water quality and meet TMDLs.

Product Advantages

Beemats Floating Wetland Systems is an innovative solution that adapts to the needs of each application and changing water conditions. With a patented potting design, engineers can plant local vegetation on the floating mat. Then remove and replace vegetation/pots as needed. From maintaining water quality for municipal stormwater ponds and wastewater treatment centers to ensuring TMDLs and ERPs are met, rely on Ferguson Waterworks. Our selection of media and biofilters offers sustainable, easy-to-maintain, and comprehensive treatments. For another powerful BMP for phosphorous, nitrogen, and bacteria removal, consider Bold & Gold. It is a resilient biofiltration media that helps treat contaminated runoff.

Key benefits of Beemats Floating Wetlands:

  • Sequesters excess bioavailable nutrients in the water column.
  • Competes with invasive species using native plants.
  • Compatible for both new construction and retrofits.
  • Periodic maintenance ensures the success of the project.
  • Regular reporting showing the removed nutrients.

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