Public Comment Sought on Pond Creek Watershed

Comment period ends December 10, 2016

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Nov. 10, 2016) – The Energy and Environment Cabinet is seeking public comment until December 10, 2016 on a draft report addressing bacteria, pH and metals impairments in the Pond Creek watershed which is located in Muhlenberg County, KY.

Continue reading “Public Comment Sought on Pond Creek Watershed”

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Total Maximum Daily Load process seeks to improve water quality, inform public

It’s one of those days where you don’t need rain to feel wet all over. The air is as thick as the clouds in the sky. Environmental biologists Katie McKone and Jessica Schuster are knee deep in the Strodes Creek Watershed in Bourbon and Clark Counties to take the same water readings they’ve been taking for the last 18 months. They’re collecting the data necessary to develop a pollutant reduction strategy, known as a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL), with the goal of taking the impacted watershed from polluted to meeting water quality standards.   Collecting the necessary data can be difficult, especially when the water is very high or when vegetation surrounding the waterways is more than head high, but it’s an important job because the data gathered here could direct efforts to help make Kentucky’s waterways cleaner and healthier.

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Jessica Schuster walks through the Strodes Creek watershed collecting water quality samples

In the lower 48 states, Kentucky ranks in the top 15 for miles of navigable water. But with that water comes the responsibility we all share to keep it clean because, in one form or another, we all live in a watershed. All of Kentucky’s small streams, creeks, rivers and lakes ultimately lead to larger bodies of water like the Ohio River, which eventually leads to the Mississippi River and on to the Gulf of Mexico.

Continue reading “Total Maximum Daily Load process seeks to improve water quality, inform public”

Many of Kentucky’s streams showing improved water quality; New exceptional waters identified

The Division of Water, as part of its triennial review of water quality standards, is proposing to add 20 new waterbodies as outstanding state resource waters (OSRWs) and 13 new waterbodies as “Exceptional” waters. The number of waterbodies included as OSRWs and “Exceptional” waters are good indicators of water quality improvement. The list of OSRWs, which include the highest quality waterbodies in Kentucky and those waterbodies that support threatened and endangered species, has grown from 157 OSRWs in 2008 to 423 designated OSRWs in 2015. The list of “Exceptional” waters, including Reference Reach Waters has also grown, from a list of 118 waterbodies listed as having “Exceptional” water quality and aquatic habitats, to 254.

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Kentucky water quality standards regulations identify six designated uses for surface water to meet the policy and Continue reading “Many of Kentucky’s streams showing improved water quality; New exceptional waters identified”

Kentucky Division of Water unveils new water health portal

Provides detailed information on the health of Kentucky waters

Kentuckians can now find out if their favorite spot on the water is safe to swim or if the fish there are healthy enough to eat with a few clicks of the mouse.

Kentucky’s Water Health Portal — http://watermaps.ky.gov/  — is an interactive Web-based map application that enables users to learn about the health of the streams in their area and across the Commonwealth.  Continue reading “Kentucky Division of Water unveils new water health portal”

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”

Public comment sought on draft report regarding water quality impairments related to pH and metals on six stream segments in Hopkins County

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Comment period ends May 18, 2015

The Kentucky Division of Water is seeking public comment until May 18, 2015 on a draft report addressing water quality impairments related to pH and metals.  The report, Proposed Draft Total Maximum Daily Load for pH, Cadmium, Iron, Nickel and Zinc, 16 Pollutant-Waterbody Combinations on 6 Stream Segments, Hopkins County, Kentucky, has been prepared as required by the federal Clean Water Act.

Section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act requires each state to periodically identify specific waters where water quality problems exist.  The state is required to prioritize the list of impaired waters and calculate an allowable amount of pollutants for those waters known as a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL).  Continue reading “Public comment sought on draft report regarding water quality impairments related to pH and metals on six stream segments in Hopkins County”

A ‘TOOLKIT’ has been created to provide information about Kentucky’s TMDL program

Kentucky’s Division of Water and Division of Compliance Assistance have created an informational TOOL KIT to provide a basic understanding of the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Program.

A TMDL is a calculation of the amount of pollutants that can enter a water body and still meet the water quality standard for a designated use.

The goal of the Clean Water Act is to eliminate the discharge of pollutants into waters so that they are fishable, swimmable and drinkable. The Division of Water TMDL staff monitors water bodies to identify the level of pollutants and determines allowable levels while still meeting their designated uses. Continue reading “A ‘TOOLKIT’ has been created to provide information about Kentucky’s TMDL program”