FRANKFORT, Ky. (May 26, 2023) – With summer approaching, the Kentucky Division of Water (DOW) and the Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) offer these safety tips to help Kentuckians enjoy the many rivers, lakes and creeks in which to boat, fish, swim, canoe or otherwise enjoy our abundant water resources.
Despite many water quality improvements, there is the potential for human health risks in any body of water. By using common sense, your risks of experiencing water-derived health issues can be greatly decreased.
DOW and DPH recommend that the public:
- Avoid ingesting or inhaling the water.
- Thoroughly clean hands and other areas that have come in contact with the water.
- Avoid allowing open wounds to have direct contact with the water.
- Avoid areas where swimming or harmful algal bloom (HAB) advisories have been issued.
- Avoid water with obvious odors or surface scums.
- Avoid getting in water after heavy rainfall, especially in dense residential, urban and agricultural areas.
- Avoid areas below wastewater treatment facility outfalls, animal feedlots, straight pipes or other obvious sources of pollution.
- Restrict pets and livestock from drinking the water if a bright green or blue-green surface scum is present.
Information on advisories is available on the DOW Advisory page. For more information on the water quality of Kentucky’s streams, rivers, lakes and springs, visit the Water Health Portal.
If you experience symptoms, such as gastro-intestinal upset or rash, after recreation in natural waters, such as streams, rivers or lakes, consult your physician or call your local health department.
For more information on healthy swimming in all water bodies, visit https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/swimming/. ###