Watergoat

Watergoat @ Persimmon Creek

What is a Watergoat? Simply, it is an aquatic device that collects floating trash for easy removal. This keeps plastics and other litter from flowing further down the watershed where along the way, it can be broken down into smaller and smaller pieces until extrication of these harmful microplastics is almost impossible.

FAQs

How is the Watergoat maintained?

Commissioners, members, and staff of the Spartanburg Soil and Water Conservation District and / or Watershed Ecology Center carefully remove the debris as needed. The litter is sorted by type, recorded then disposed of properly.

Is the Watergoat dangerous to wildlife?

No. The marine-grade netting can easily be maneuvered through or under by fish and aquatic-life. Turtles and birds have been seen enjoying the new floating component of their habitat.

Does the Watergoat catch 100% of litter in the stream?

No, but pretty close. It will collect floating litter easily when the stream is at regular flow, but some litter may escape during very high-water level events.

Where does all this litter come from?

While some of the litter could have been dropped into the stream or blown out of trash cans, most of the litter caught by the Watergoat has washed into the stream through storm drains from the surrounding area.

Can I help?

Yes! If you are interested in volunteering to help clean the Watergoat, collect data from a cleanout, or would just like to know more, contact the Spartanburg Soil and Water Conservation District at 864.345.6787 or send email to conservation@SpartanburgSWCD.org

Background Information

As can be seen from this SC DNR map of the Broad River Basin, Spartanburg is very close to the top of the watershed. Any litter or pollution that enters a stream here flows through ever larger bodies of water to Columbia and eventually the Atlantic Ocean.

There are two broad types of water pollution: Point Source Pollution and Non-Point Source Pollution. Examples of point source pollution would be a broken sewer pipe or industrial waste flowing directly into a water source, where the source is clearly identifiable. While we would like to think that these point sources cause the bulk of our water pollution, in reality most of our water pollution comes from non-point sources. This is pollution for which we are all responsible and there is no way to sort out from where it came. Excess fertilizers, pesticides, drips from vehicles, pet waste, and even litter are all non-point pollution sources.