Furman Lake

Hidden History of Greenville Water

Furman Lake

Greenville, South Carolina 29617, United States

Created By: Brandon Inabinet


"Swan Lake," this beautiful campus centerpiece, was constructed in the mid 1950's and was used for a variety of recreational activities for years. The lake was created by damming a small tributary of the Reedy River just below the confluence of two streams. The dam is at the south end of the lake, under the road to the physical plant and the Facilities Services complex. The two streams still feed the lake; one from the picnic shelter west of the Bell Tower and one from the North Village dorm complex that enters the lake near the Asian Garden.

By the 1980's, however, algal blooms and high bacteria counts made the lake a less inviting place. By the end of the 1990's, most recreation was prohibited because of health concerns. High bacteria levels and water temperature, low vegetation, algea blooms, and storm drain discharge (with overfertilized and automobile run-off) plagued the water.

Since 2006, the university has implemented a variety of changes designed to improve the quality of the entire lake environment, including a ban on feeding waterfowl, a one-time capture (and feeding to local soup kitchens) of an overabundant goose population, plantings on the lake shore that improve water quality and discourage waterfowl, and aeration. In keeping with Furman's tradition of engaged learning, students and faculty use the lake as a living laboratory to study the effects of restoration efforts on water and habitat quality.

To learn more, please visit The Lake Restoration Project webpages.

This point of interest is part of the tour: Hidden History of Greenville Water


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