Who doesn’t want to live on the lake? Waterfront living is pretty much everyone’s dream if they have a large body of water they can call Lake Murray SC dock ruleshome, be it the oceanfront, lakefront or riverfront most everyone I know wishes someday they’ll be able to wake up to looking at the water. When it comes to Columbia SC there is just one place this really applies to, and that’s Lake Murray, the 10th largest man made lake in the United States of America. VIEW LOTS FOR SALE ON LAKE MURRAY

Homes for sale here vary from condos like Yacht Cove, to large castle like mansions but one thing is for sure, if you’re planning on building on your new lakefront lot there are rules you better follow no matter if it’s property in Lexington, Irmo, Chapin, or Saluda. SCE&G (South Carolina Electric & Gas) along with the state of SC are the rule makers for any and everything that happens regarding the lake. SCE&G manages its lands around Lake Murray according to a Shoreline Management Plan (SMP) and the Shoreline Management Handbook and Permitting Guidelines (Handbook), both of which are designed to comply with the terms of the Project License, regulations, and
FERC orders. 

Lake Murray is about 20 mins drive N.W of the city of Columbia SC, and is the brain child of William Murray, the engineer who drafted up the project of damning the Saluda river to make a hydroelectric plant in the 1930s for Columbia SC residents. There is about 500 miles of shoreline on this 50,000 acre reservoir so there is plenty of lakefront lots and land still to be had to build your new waterfront home in Columbia. At the time of its completion, Saluda Dam was the largest earthen dam for power purposes in the world.


*Project applicants and lake users must obtain the appropriate permit(s) for various activities and developments, and must adhere to the established regulations that help protect the lake shoreline and waters. 

SCE&G owns the land below the 360- foot contour for the vast majority of the Lake Murray shoreline, and significant areas of land above the 360’, separating “back property owners” from the 360’ (“fringeland”). There are a few areas where SCE&G’s property ownership does not go beyond flood easements, with “clear and keep clear” authority (“easement property”). 

*A 75-foot wide vegetated buffer zone, located between the 360’ PD contour (high watermark line set by SCE&G) and the back property development, is maintained adjacent to all easement lands sold by SCE&G after the issuance of the 1984 license. For lands sold after 2007, lake access for back property owners is limited to a narrow meandering path in accordance with a dock permit .

*Prior to initiating any project, property owners must contact SCE&G’s Lake Management Department at 803-217-9221 and the appropriate county offices. SCE&G requires that anyone desiring to make major repairs, replace, add to, or construct a dock
must file an application for a permit with SCE&G.  the following; a sketch showing the location, design and dimension of the proposed structure, the permitting fee, specific directions by land to applicant’s property on Lake Murray, and the plat of the property. Construction shall not begin until written permission has been granted by SCE&G. 


Dock building fees lake murray

Permit Application


  • A minimum lot width of 100 feet (200 feet for a slip dock) along the 360’ PD contour is required before an individual residential
    dock application will be considered.
  • Lots measuring 50-100 feet in width platted prior to 1989 where the adjacent lots have existing docks may be considered for limited
    size docks.
  • Docks must be single story structures
  • Final dock location will be determined by SCE&G Lake Management Personnel.
  • No watercraft exceeding 34 feet in length can be permanently docked at a residential or common dock and may not interfere with
    navigation nor exceed more than 1/3 the distance across the cove at the PBL.
  • Private docks, whether fixed, floating, or any combination of the two, generally cannot exceed 750 sq. feet in overall size and 75
    feet in length and may not interfere with navigation (exceeds no more than 1/3 the distance across a cove or channel) or restrict access to adjoining property.
  • Docks must be located a minimum of 15 feet from adjacent neighboring property iron (rebar marker) and the proposed dock extension should not cross over the imaginary projected property lines.
  • Covers on docks are not permissible unless the covered portion is located within 16 feet of the 360’ PD contour.
  • A maximum of one (1) boat lift and two (2) jet-ski lifts will be permitted per individual dock. Any boat lift of any style, fixed or
    floating, must be permitted.
  • Effective January 1, 2007, all floating docks on Lake Murray will be required to have ENCAPSULATED FLOTATION.


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