FRANKFORT, Ky. (Jan. 12, 2023) – The Lead in Drinking Water Working Group will meet by videoconference on January 23, 2023 from 2–3 p.m. Eastern time. If you have questions about connecting to the videoconference, please contact Elizabeth Dowling at email@example.com or 502-782-0965.
Join Zoom Meeting https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85629356012 Meeting ID: 856 2935 6012 To join by phone: One tap mobile: 646-931-3860 Dial by your location: 646-931-3860 or 833-928-4608 Toll-free
Call meeting to order and roll call of membership – Amy Stoffer
Approve minutes of October 31, 2022 – Amy Stoffer
Subgroup report out
Lead service line inventories and replacements
DWSRF info – Russell Neal or Sandy Williams
Public comment opportunity
Set next meeting date – propose April 17, 2023, 2 pm
Kentucky watershed professionals have an updated tool available to them this fall as they prepare to write their watershed plan applications.
The new Watershed Explorer, which will replace the former Kentucky Watershed Viewer, will allow groups and individuals to more easily gather information required for submitting 319(h) Nonpoint Source Funding applications. The new Kentucky Watershed Explorer will feature a collection of more focused tools and viewers, including the new 319 Grant Reporter.
“The old viewer tried to be all things for all needs,” said Caroline Chan, who created the 319 Grant Reporter. “Because it had so much information, it was hard to find what you needed,” but the new explorer will “allow users to zero in on what their needs are by selecting the application that suits that purpose. Additional applications will be added as they are developed.”
The 319 Grant Reporter is the first focused application in this collection to be rolled out. The application will better serve the watershed managers and other professionals that submit work to address water quality issues through the 319(h) Nonpoint Source Program.
The reporting tool allows users to search for their watershed of interest and identify information that is necessary for submitting 319(h) Clean Water Act Nonpoint Source Funding applications. Users will be able to search for their watershed using stream name, county, Hydrologic Unit (HUC) or by scrolling to its location.
Snapshot of the opening view of the 319 Reporting Tool. Users will use the search box or zoom to find their watershed of interest. Purple areas are Kentucky’s 7 major river basins and their Basin Team Priority Watersheds.
Once the correct watershed is selected, users will know what major river basin it’s in, whether it has been assessed to meet its designated uses, has a Total Maximum Daily Load Allocation (TMDL), if it is in a Source Water Protection Zone (SWPP), and if it has any assigned special designations such as an Outstanding State Resource Water (OSRW) or Division of Water Priority Watershed. Users will be able to download and print a copy of the report and attach it to their 319(h) application or use it for any other uses they see fit.
The 319 Program also will be testing a letter of intent for the 2022 grant season as a replacement for its traditional request for proposals. Those who plan to apply for 2022 funds are highly encouraged, but not required, to watch the 319 grant funding informational video and submit a letter of intent. The earlier letters are submitted, the easier it will be for the NPS staff to help future applicants submit a successful application. Applications are due February 2023. All applications must still go through the rank and review process.
“We are excited to launch the 319 Grant Reporter”, said Watershed Management Branch Manager Joanna Ashford. “This tool will help applicants identify water quality information, HUC12 numbers and other needed information for the 319 Application.”
The Kentucky Division of Water (DOW) has released an update to Kentucky’s Nutrient Reduction Strategy. The plan will prioritize investments and encourage cooperative efforts to decrease excessive nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus that fuel harmful algal blooms (HABs) in rivers, lakes, and streams, and contribute to the Gulf of Mexico “dead zone,” or hypoxic zone off the coasts of Louisiana and Texas.
Pollution and excessive nutrients are a growing water quality concern throughout Kentucky and the U.S. that can impose significant costs to drinking water utilities, lost revenue from recreational tourism, and smaller harvests for fishermen.
Along with 11 other states and five federal agencies which make up the Mississippi River/Gulf of Mexico Watershed Hypoxia Task Force (the “Hypoxia Task Force” or HTF), Kentucky has committed to develop a state specific strategy to address nutrients. Kentucky began its initial efforts to reduce nutrient loading to its waterways through the 2014 Nutrient Reduction Strategy (NRS).
The updated plan, which also includes an interactive story map, provides a framework that is tailored to Kentucky’s unique geological, agricultural, and hydrologic landscape, and improves on progress made since 2014. The strategy includes point and non-point source water improvement efforts, education and outreach, monitoring and assessment, local engagement, reporting practices and more.
As part of a data-driven plan to prioritize available resources, more than 40 years of water monitoring data was used to create Nutrient Priority Areas (see map below), which balance the needs of drinking water sources, open water recreation, and areas with greater nutrient concentrations (i.e., high yield watersheds).
As a result, state funding applicants in these Nutrient Priority Areas will rank higher on grant and loan applications through DOW’s 319 Grant Program and Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) Program. Likewise, agriculture proposals will rank higher with the Division of Conservation’s (DOC) State Cost Share Program. Farmer applications may also receive a higher cost share rate for installing conservation practices from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in source water portions of the Nutrient Priority Areas.
New funding sources such as the Gulf Hypoxia Program will build on collaborative progress between DOW, DOC, and NRCS to prevent erosion, improve wastewater treatment, and empower local communities in these priority areas. To maximize water quality improvements, DOW will continue to collaborate with federal, state, and local agencies, universities, citizen groups, and non-profit organizations.
More information on the draft Nutrient Reduction Strategy Update can be found at eec.ky.gov/nutrientreduction, including interactive story maps and actions that minimize nutrient loss.
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Oct. 7, 2022) – Grant funding is available through the Energy and Environment Cabinet for projects that help clean up polluted streams, rivers, lakes, and groundwater, and for projects that protect water resources. Funds are provided through the EPA’s Nonpoint Source Program, and are distributed to states to support best management practices.
“The funds can be used for watershed restoration projects, watershed plan development, and other projects that reduce and prevent runoff pollution,” said Joanna Ashford, manager of the Division of Water’s Nonpoint Source Grant Program.
These funds can be used to pay for up to 60 percent of the total cost for each project with a required 40 percent non-federal match. Nonpoint source pollution, also known as runoff pollution, is the number one contributor to water pollution in Kentucky. The Division gives priority to projects that develop and implement watershed plans for impaired waters, source water protection areas, and special-use waters such as cold water aquatic habitat, state wild rivers and federal wild and scenic rivers with identified threats.
Letters of intent to apply are optional but highly recommended and are due Nov. 15, 2022. Project application forms must be submitted no later than February 10, 2023. Division of Water staff will review the project applications and rank them according to eligibility and priority criteria.
The Kentucky Division of Water invites water stakeholders to participate in this year’s Source Water Protection Week. Begun in 2021 by the American Water Works Association (AWWA), Source Water Protection Week is an opportunity for water utilities, NGO’s, state and federal agencies, and anyone who has an interest in clean water (aka everyone!) to raise awareness about the value of the sources that supply our drinking water.
Throughout the week, partners for water health will be raising awareness about the importance of protecting drinking water sources. The Kentucky Division of Water’s Source Water Protection Week website (bit.ly/SWPWeek) will host a wide range of materials about the importance of source water and will be using social media to highlight state specific tools you can use to help protect water resources.
Ways To Participate in Source Water Protection Week:
Follow us @KentuckyEEC and/or visit the website and share the information about source water protection. Examples could include training courses, webinars, workshops, and K-12 school programs.
Educators can hold a poster, photo, or essay contest for kids to show what source water protection means to them.
Connect with your local watershed and conservation organizations to discuss ways you can collaborate on source water protection efforts.
Host and/or participate in community volunteer activities that protect the environment such as watershed cleanups, stenciling stormwater drains, and planting trees or riparian buffers.
Manage household hazardous waste properly (cleaners, paints, vehicle fluids, fertilizers, pesticides, etc.) Only purchase what you need. Donate unused portions to friends or community organizations. Recycle leftovers when possible. To find recycling/disposal locations visit www.earth911.com or call 1-800-CLEANUP.
Avoid dumping – Never put anything down the sink, toilet or storm drain as it can end up in drinking water sources. Dispose of cleaners, medicines, oil/grease, etc. properly.
Clean up – Pick up after yourself and your pets. Use trash receptacles and recycle whenever possible. Pet waste can enter storm drains and spread bacteria.
Use alternative products – Avoid using products that may contain harmful materials such as perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS); use cast iron or stainless-steel pots and pans instead of non-stick pots and pans.
Conserve water – Use water efficiently to ease the burden on water sources and save money. Repair leaks, use a rain barrel, install low flow devices to toilets and showers, wash full loads of laundry and dishes, etc. For more steps to save water visit https://www.epa.gov/watersense.
Limit use of fertilizers and pesticides – Reduce the amount of materials used on your lawn or consider natural alternatives.
Service your septic system – Have a professional inspect your septic system every 3 years and have it pumped every 3-5 years.
Participate in volunteer activities – Attend events such as removing invasive plants and replanting natives, stormwater drain stenciling, rain barrel workshops, litter cleanups, etc. Watershed groups are often familiar with upcoming local events.
If you see something, say something – Report any spills, illegal dumping, or suspicious activity to authorities.
The Kentucky Division of Water (DOW) is urging residents in the affected flooded areas of eastern Kentucky to avoid coming into contact or swimming in waters of the North Fork of the Kentucky River, Troublesome Creek, and North Boone Creek, or other flood impacted streams.
This recommendation is due to a general concern about what contaminants may be in the river. Wastewater treatment plants in Letcher County are temporarily experiencing bypasses of treatment processes resulting in raw sewage being discharged. Damage in other areas to waste water collection systems also could result in potential contamination.
The DOW is working closely with the KY Transportation Cabinet, U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, and state and Federal Emergency Management Agencies in cleanup efforts.
The DOW would like to reassure residents that all drinking water plants in the affected area are operational and drinking water is safe and being monitored. However, boil water advisories are still in effect in some areas due to line breaks.
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Aug. 19, 2022) – The Martin County Water District Workgroup will be meeting by videoconference on August 31, 2022 from 1 – 3 p.m. Eastern time. If you have questions about connecting to the videoconference, please contact Kim Greenidge at 502-782-6630.
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Aug. 11, 2022) – The Lead in Drinking Water Working Group will be meeting by videoconference on May 22, 2022 from 2 – 3 p.m. Eastern time. If you have questions about connecting to the videoconference, please contact Elizabeth Danks at firstname.lastname@example.org or 502-782-0965.
Call meeting to order and roll call of membership – Amy Stoffer
Approve minutes of May 9, 2022 – Amy Stoffer
Report out – Small systems subgroup
Report out – Funding/financing subgroup
Report out and discussion – Lead service line inventories
Public comment opportunity
Set next meeting date – propose October 31, 2022, 2:00 pm • Note: the October meeting will be video conferenced using Zoom, rather than GoTo Meeting. To download the Zoom app, go here: https://zoom.us/download.