Keeping Lake Keowee Clean

Lake Keowee is renowned for its stunningly clean and clear blue waters.  But what exactly goes into keeping a lake as large as Keowee not only clear of debris along its shores but also clear of algae for that sparkly blue hue? Today we’re diving (pun intended) into what it takes to keep Lake Keowee looking pristine.

Lake Keowee covers over 18,000 acres and boasts an impressive 300+ miles of shoreline. Tucked in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, our lake is in prime Upstate SC territory, not far from the rapidly growing city of Greenville.  With such large area growth, the lake has grown tremendously in popularity in recent decades and with more and more communities being built here each year. Residents love the amazing outdoor opportunities that Keowee provides from boating and fishing to nature trails and bird watching. To keep the area in prime condition for residents and guests alike, a lot goes into keeping the lake clean and clear.

Duke Energy Lake Services is largely responsible for maintaining the quality of the lake water and monitoring development along its shores. They are responsible for approving licenses for any developments or operations that want to utilize the lake or its shoreline.  This helps ensure that the lake is not only beautiful to look at but functions as it should and provide a healthy natural habitat for local flora and fauna. Duke Energy volunteers and helpers also collect litter from the various beaches and access areas around the lake.

Duke isn’t the only party that protects and cleans the lake – Lake Keowee has its own volunteer conservationist group, Friends of Lake Keowee Society, as well as individuals who take it upon themselves to help clean the lake. We talked in more detail about the non-profit society in a previous post, which you can read here. Friends of Lake Keowee Society, or FOLKS, not only organizes routine cleanups of the lake and surrounding areas but provides educational outreach programs to schools in the local community to build advocacy and awareness.

Did you know that you can even sometimes spot divers in our lake working to remove debris that is on the lake floor? It’s amazing how many people care about our lake and work hard to make sure it is clean for us to enjoy.


How can I help?

Keeping a lake as large as Lake Keowee clean is hard work and not one group can do all of the upkeep on their own. It takes a village to help maintain its beauty.  You can help too!  Not only can you help by being aware of and helping pick up litter when you see it, but checking out your boat before dropping it into the water is another way. Did you know that boats and their trailers can sometimes transport invasive aquatic plants from one lake to another? These plants, if not native to Keowee, can wreak havoc on its ecosystem. Simply cleaning the bottom of your boat and trailer after each use and scrubbing away and debris can help keep our waters clear of dangerous plant life.  As you check the exterior, don’t forget to clean your drains!

If you’re local to the Keowee area, you can also volunteer with FOLKS. To learn more about how to volunteer your time or donate to financially support the society, visit