KY DOW Study Reveals Metals Not Detected in Public Drinking Water; No Correlation to Cancer Incidence in Kentucky

519 public drinking water systems reviewed

The Kentucky Division of Water (DOW) recently completed a study of public drinking water data to determine if heavy metals such as arsenic and chromium were occurring in public drinking water at concentrations that may cause health concerns.

“The DOW study was prompted in part as a result of recent studies that have suggested that exposure to elevated levels of heavy metals like arsenic and chromium in Appalachia contributes to the region’s high cancer mortality rates,” said R. Bruce Scott, commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection. “Because of these expressed concerns, the agency conducted an extensive analysis of the quality of drinking water in all of Kentucky’s public water systems across the Commonwealth.”

Continue reading “KY DOW Study Reveals Metals Not Detected in Public Drinking Water; No Correlation to Cancer Incidence in Kentucky”

State Environmental Award Nominations Sought

Program recognizes environmental leaders

The Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection (DEP) is soliciting nominations for the 2013 Environmental Excellence Awards. These awards were established to recognize the environmental leadership efforts and activities of individuals, businesses and organizations in the state. The DEP awards are in their fourth year and coordinated by the Division of Compliance Assistance to support the mission of recognizing and encouraging environmental stewardship in Kentucky.

“The Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection created this awards program to highlight some of the environmental leaders in the Commonwealth each year,” said R. Bruce Scott, DEP commissioner. “Their achievements are positive examples that inspire others to protect Kentucky’s environment and conserve our precious resources.”

The awards include three Environmental Pacesetter awards to recognize exemplary Continue reading “State Environmental Award Nominations Sought”

Division of Water Helps Water Systems Prepare for Emergencies

The Kentucky Division of Water (DOW) is helping public drinking water systems prepare for emergency situations by providing an Emergency Response Plan (ERP) template. This template provides a framework for the public water systems to create a comprehensive ERP to fit their specific needs.

An ERP is a written plan that describes the actions a public water system will take in response to emergency events. An effective ERP includes plans to provide adequate potable water during emergency situations and restore normal operations afterwards.

Continue reading “Division of Water Helps Water Systems Prepare for Emergencies”

Division of Water Reminds Kentuckians to Conserve Water

‘Drinking Water Week’ highlights value of this limited resource

The Kentucky Division of Water encourages Kentuckians during National Drinking Water Week, May 5-11, to practice water conservation every day of the year.

 Water is a crucial natural resource. Without water, there would be no life on Earth. Water also affects our health, lifestyle and economic well-being. Consider just a few of the many ways we use water Continue reading “Division of Water Reminds Kentuckians to Conserve Water”

Louisville Garbage Trucks Cleaning Up Their Act

Governor Steve Beshear announced today that the Kentucky Division for Air Quality has awarded Louisville Metro Government $54,000 to reduce diesel emissions from its waste-hauling fleet. The funds were made available through the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s Diesel Emission Reduction Act.

“I applaud Louisville Metro for working to achieve cleaner air in Kentucky’s largest city,” said Gov. Beshear. “State and local partnerships like these benefit public health and economic development.”

The project will retrofit two refuse haulers with diesel particulate filters and closed crankcase ventilation systems, reducing emissions of particulate matter by nearly 90 percent. Particulate matter is linked to increased risk of Continue reading “Louisville Garbage Trucks Cleaning Up Their Act”

Comments Sought on Wastewater Lab Certification Program

The Kentucky Division of Water is seeking public comment until April 30 on a proposed administrative regulation establishing the Kentucky Wastewater Laboratory Certification Program. A public hearing will be held April 25 to allow interested persons to comment on the regulation, which was filed with the Legislative Research Commission March 14.

The public hearing will be held at 6 p.m. (EDT) on Thursday, April 25, at 300 Fair Oaks Lane, Conference Room 301D, in Frankfort. Written comments on the proposed regulation should be mailed to Jon Trout, Division of Water, 200 Fair Oaks Lane, Frankfort, KY 40601. They may also be emailed to or sent by FAX to 502-564-0111.

The 2011 General Assembly enacted KRS 224.10-670 authorizing the Energy and Environment Cabinet to promulgate an administrative regulation establishing a wastewater laboratory certification program for Continue reading “Comments Sought on Wastewater Lab Certification Program”

Crittenden County School Buses Getting Cleaner, Greener

The Kentucky Division for Air Quality (DAQ) has awarded Crittenden County Board of Education $80,000 to reduce diesel emissions from its school bus fleet. The funds were made available through the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA).

“I applaud Crittenden County Board of Education for its leadership in building a greener fleet, including Kentucky’s first propane-powered bus for student transportation,” said Gov. Beshear. “Reducing diesel emissions from school buses means cleaner air for our most precious resource – our kids.”

The project will replace one 1992 model diesel school bus with a 2014 model school bus powered by propane autogas. Propane autogas burns cleaner than diesel, producing fewer smog-producing hydrocarbons and virtually eliminating Continue reading “Crittenden County School Buses Getting Cleaner, Greener”

Act Now to Protect Kentucky’s Groundwater

The Kentucky Division of Water (DOW) is recognizing Groundwater Awareness Week, March 10-16, by emphasizing the importance of groundwater to communities as well as 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 soils and rocks. It is an abundant natural resource and makes up 90 percent of all the freshwater in the world. 

About half of the U.S. population receives its drinking water from the groundwater in wells. In Kentucky, an estimated 1.2 million people are served by 185 public water systems that rely on groundwater in whole or as part of their source. An additional 250,000 rural Kentuckians rely on private wells or springs for their drinking water. 

“It’s important to remember that groundwater is a local resource and that local people are the ones who can choose whether to conserve, protect or pollute it,” said DOW Director Sandy Gruzesky. “We all need to actively participate in protecting our groundwater.” 

Protection of this resource is crucial to Kentucky’s economy, public health and the environment, and we can all contribute to maintaining both the quality and quantity of groundwater, Gruzesky said. 

As groundwater moves through the soils, it picks up various minerals as well as pollutants. Since everything that goes on the land eventually Continue reading “Act Now to Protect Kentucky’s Groundwater”

Division of Water Warns Leaky Pipes Drain Valuable Resource

The week of March 18 is “Fix a Leak Week,” and officials at the Kentucky Division of Water are encouraging residents to repair small water leaks in their homes.

Minor water leaks account for more than 1 trillion gallons of water wasted each year in U.S. homes, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) WaterSense program. Water leaks can account for an average of 10,000 gallons of water wasted in the home every year – enough to fill a backyard swimming pool.

The EPA suggests the following steps to check if you have a leak:

  • Take a look at your water usage during a colder month, such as January or February. If a family of four exceeds 21,000 gallons per month, there are serious leaks.
  • Check your water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter changes at all, you probably have a leak.
  • Identify toilet leaks by placing a drop of food coloring in the toilet tank. If any color shows up in the bowl after 15 minutes, you have a leak. (Be sure to flush immediately after the experiment to avoid staining the tank or bowl.)
  • Examine faucet gaskets and pipe fittings for any water on the outside of the pipe to check for surface leaks. 

Follow these tips to help prevent water loss by leaks:  Continue reading “Division of Water Warns Leaky Pipes Drain Valuable Resource”

New Selenium Water Quality Standards for Selenium Proposed – DOW Receiving Public Comment on Changes to Water Quality Criteria

The Kentucky Division of Water (DOW) made public notification of proposed new water quality criteria for selenium on Feb. 5, 2013 and is receiving public comment on these proposed criteria through Mar. 1, 2013.

Pursuant to the Clean Water Act, DOW is responsible for establishing water quality standards for Kentucky, reviewing these standards every three years and modifying these standards, as appropriate.

As part of this triennial review, DOW proposed on Sept. 1, 2012 to withdraw the acute water quality criterion for selenium based on the division’s concern that Kentucky’s current acute criterion is not scientifically sound or defensible.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provided comments to DOW regarding the proposed withdrawal of the acute selenium criterion and suggested three options to DOW:  Continue reading “New Selenium Water Quality Standards for Selenium Proposed – DOW Receiving Public Comment on Changes to Water Quality Criteria”