Overview & History
The F.S. Royster Guano Company (Royster) was a fertilizer plant located on Commerce Drive in Columbia, South Carolina, in the early 1900s. The Edisto Court Community is located opposite of the former fertilizer plant site.
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) knows very little about the former Royster fertilizer plant because it operated prior to environmental regulations and permitting. Based on research conducted by DHEC staff, the Royster plant made superphosphate fertilizer. Large tanks were located on the plant site containing sulfuric acid that was mixed with phosphate ore to make the fertilizer. Royster produced the sulfuric acid in lead-lined chambers using a lead chamber process. The waste material from the fertilizer manufacturing process contained high levels of arsenic and lead.
The arsenic and lead contamination is not associated with, nor a result of, asphalt emulsion operations by Seaco, Inc. at the former Royster site. For additional information, please visit our webpage on the Seaco and Bagnal Sites located at Commerce Drive and South Edisto Avenue.