Water Treatment Plants Recognized for Superior Performance

FRANKFORT, Ky. (March 23, 2015) – Kentucky’s Energy and Environment Cabinet has recognized 34 surface water treatment plants in the state for meeting the goals of Kentucky’s Area-Wide Optimization Program (AWOP).

The purpose of AWOP is to encourage water treatment plants and distributors of drinking water to surpass state and federal goals and standards.  Kentucky is one of 19 states that participate in AWOP initiatives.

Continue reading “Water Treatment Plants Recognized for Superior Performance”

Avoiding Lead Contamination in Public Drinking Water in Kentucky

In light of the recent news reports of lead contamination in the drinking water in Flint, Michigan, awareness of the condition of our drinking water has been heightened in government, in water supply systems, and in the public.

In 2014 the city of Flint, Michigan, temporarily switched its water source from Lake Huron, supplied by the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department, to the Flint River, an inland source that can cause greater challenges for treating water than water that is from the Great Lakes. Flint treated the river water, but the water reaching people’s homes was corrosive. Water that’s corrosive can allow water in lead service lines – which connect water mains to household plumbing – to absorb lead from the lead service lines and plumbing. The result can be unacceptable levels of lead in the water that people may consume.

A primary mission of the Kentucky Division of Water is to ensure that safe and reliable drinking water is delivered to the citizens and businesses of the Commonwealth. As a part of that mission, the Kentucky Division of Water (DOW) reviews and takes action on data reported by Public Water Supply Systems (PWSS’s) on a regular and routine basis. Water quality data submitted to DOW from Kentucky’s water supplies indicate that Continue reading “Avoiding Lead Contamination in Public Drinking Water in Kentucky”

Harmful Algal Bloom recreational advisory issued for the Ohio River and tributaries

Advisory area stretches from W. Va. Line to Markland Dam

The Kentucky Division of Water (KDOW) and the Kentucky Department for Public Health (KDPH) are re-issuing a harmful algal bloom (HAB) recreational advisory for the Ohio River, extending the advisory downstream from the West Virginia state line to the Markland Dam located 3.5 miles downstream from Warsaw, Ky.

HAB

Water swallowed during recreational activities in this body of water may increase the risk of gastrointestinal symptoms such as stomach pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Skin, eye and throat irritation and/or breathing difficulties may also occur after contact. Continue reading “Harmful Algal Bloom recreational advisory issued for the Ohio River and tributaries”

National Dam Safety Day focuses on awareness and keeping citizens safe

Nearly 1,000 active dams across the state provide drinking water, recreational opportunities and prevent flooding

On May 31, 1889, the South Fork Dam in Johnstown, Pennsylvania failed after several days of heavy rain.  The dam’s failure resulted in the loss of over 2,200 lives.  Each year, May 31st is a day set aside to remember this tragedy, promote dam safety and recognize the benefits that dams offer. Johnstown Flood May 31, 1889

This year the Association of State Dam Safety Officials along with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are  working to heighten awareness for dam safety. FEMA and state programs throughout the nation work tirelessly to ensure citizen’s safety.

Continue reading “National Dam Safety Day focuses on awareness and keeping citizens safe”

Water Treatment Plants Recognized for Superior Performance

Kentucky’s Energy and Environment Cabinet has recognized 33 surface water treatment plants in Kentucky for meeting the goals of Kentucky’s Area-Wide Optimization Program (AWOP).

The purpose of AWOP is to encourage drinking water plants and distributors to surpass state and federal goals and standards.  Twenty states, including Kentucky, participate in AWOP initiatives. Continue reading “Water Treatment Plants Recognized for Superior Performance”

Kentucky Division of Water celebrates Drinking Water Week

Water is precious: Make every drop count

DW Week

Governor Steve Beshear has proclaimed May 3-9, 2015, as Drinking Water Week in Kentucky to recognize the importance of source water protection and conservation, as well as the value, importance and fragility of our state’s water resources.

This year marks the 41st anniversary of the Safe Drinking Water Act, which ensures quality drinking water and protects the health of our citizens.

“Many Kentuckians rely on public water systems to provide a safe and dependable supply of water,” said Energy and Environment Cabinet (EEC) Secretary Len Peters.  “We often take for granted water that comes from turning on a faucet; this week is a time to reflect upon the importance of our safe water supply and to recognize the dedicated professionals working to keep it that way.” Continue reading “Kentucky Division of Water celebrates Drinking Water Week”

Visit Kentucky’s new Water Health Portal

PortalHave you ever wondered about the health of a stream? Is it safe to swim in or eat fish from a particular body of water? The new Water Health Portal provides answers to those questions.

Accessing information is easy. Just go to http://watermaps.ky.gov/ and select Water Health Portal. Type in your location, click on a stream, and learn about the health of the water. Easily identifiable color-coded icons
indicate whether a stream or lake supports a particular use, such as swimming, fishing and drinking. Continue reading “Visit Kentucky’s new Water Health Portal”

Division of Water to monitor Kentucky’s waters for Harmful Algal Blooms

HAB on Lake Reba in Madison County in 2014. Division of Water photo
HAB on Lake Reba in Madison County in 2014. Division of Water photo

As warm weather arrives, recreational use of Kentucky’s waterways increases. For the last few years, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the Kentucky Division of Water (DOW) have monitored the state’s water for algal blooms.

Algal blooms, and the algae that form them, occur naturally in the water. Factors promoting algal growth include a combination of sunlight, warm water temperatures, low turbulence, and elevated nutrient levels of phosphorus and nitrogen. These nutrients can come from many sources including crops, pastures, and urban and industrial areas. The resulting harmful algal blooms, or HABs, are likely the result of heavy spring rains that wash the excess nutrients into the lakes. Continue reading “Division of Water to monitor Kentucky’s waters for Harmful Algal Blooms”

ERT and Field Staff “Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet….”

The Department for Environmental Protection’sERT
Environmental Response Team (ERT) and the Division of Water’s (DOW) regional office staff are no strangers to working in the elements, although the past few weeks of winter storm with its uncharacteristic cold and deep snow presented some challenges. Not only did responses to routine environmental emergencies continue, but the weather contributed significantly to others.

Routine responses, such as transportation accidents and spills, underground storage tank incidents, and spills from oil production, only increased in frequency due to the weather. Response times increased and cleanups have been hampered by the weather, some of them delayed until snow and ice melt. Continue reading “ERT and Field Staff “Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet….””

March 8-14 is Groundwater Awareness Week in Kentucky

GW

Private drinking wells should be tested each year

The Kentucky Division of Water is reminding private water well owners to regularly test their wells during Groundwater Awareness Week, March 8-14.  The awareness week emphasizes the importance of groundwater to communities and the actions Kentuckians can take to protect this vital natural resource.

Groundwater is the water from rain or other precipitation that soaks into the ground and moves downward to fill cracks and other openings in soil and rock.  It is an abundant natural resource making up 90 percent of the world’s fresh water. Continue reading “March 8-14 is Groundwater Awareness Week in Kentucky”