The South Carolina Freedom of Information Act was signed into law in 1976 and grants all citizens of South Carolina the right to attend government meetings and to examine and copy certain public records. Charleston Water System embraces the tenets set forth in the FOIA and is committed to following both the letter and spirit of this law.
Making a Request
All requests for records, other than those that are routinely made available for public inspection during business hours, should be made in writing. No particular form is required; however, requestors are encouraged to complete our Request for Public Records Form (PDF).
Requests for records may be sent by surface mail, e-mail, fax, or hand delivered.
Charleston Water System
PO Box B
Charleston, SC 29402
Charleston Water System
103 St. Philip Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Responding to FOIA requests
The SC FOIA allows each public body no longer than 15 business days to respond to a written request for records. Charleston Water System must inform the requestor within this time period whether the records are available, if they are open for inspection and/or copying, and if there will be any fees for processing the request.
Under the FOIA, public bodies may establish and collect fees not to exceed the actual cost of searching for or making copies of records. Charleston Water System's fees are levied in order to recover the direct costs of search, review, duplication and administrative overhead costs. For detailed fee information, please see our FOIA Fee Schedule (PDF).
Records available for public inspection
There are certain records that are open to public inspection during normal business hours just for the asking. These records are considered routinely available, and they include our Board Meeting Minutes and other publications that are routinely distributed.
Although most Charleston Water System documents, records, and publications are accessible through the FOIA, there are certain records that are not open to the general public. These are referred to as exempt records. Section 30-2-10 of the SC Family Privacy Protection Act, and 30-4-40(a) of the SC FOIA provide information regarding the types of records that are routinely exempt from disclosure. Examples would include records that contain personal and identifying information regarding our customers, security plans, and associate personnel and medical information.
Questions? Contact Terry Williams, Charleston Water System Records Manager.