Division of Water
Report on Water Quality in Kentucky Released for Public Comment
The Integrated Report to Congress on the Condition of Water Resources in Kentucky, 2010, volumes 1 and 2, prepared every two years as required by Section 305(b) of the Clean Water Act, has been released by the Energy and Environment Cabinet’s Division of Water.
The 2010 report is based primarily on results from monitoring performed between April 2007 and March 2009 in the Big Sandy-Little Sandy-Tygarts and Kentucky River basin management units (BMUs). Monitoring and assessment was performed on 282 stream segments representing 1,157 stream miles in the Big Sandy-Little Sandy-Tygarts BMU and 443 stream segments totaling 2,239 stream miles in the Kentucky River BMU. Publicly accessible reservoirs (lakes) were monitored and assessed from those two BMUs of focus. The report also incorporates assessment data and results from monitoring that occurred during this reporting cycle outside of the BMUs of focus, thus providing a statewide update of monitoring results.
The 2010 report shows that the two major causes of water bodies not fully supporting uses were sedimentation/siltation and pathogens. The two major sources of these pollutants were runoff from agricultural activities and habitat modification.
The interim goal of the Clean Water Act seeks to make the nation’s waters safe for swimming and restore biological health (aquatic life) to a quality that the waters are fishable; the report assesses the extent to which the state’s waters have attained those goals. State water quality standards designate uses for rivers, streams and lakes. Assessments for the report examine whether streams support those designated uses, including aquatic life (warmwater and coldwater aquatic habitat), primary contact recreation (swimming), secondary contact recreation and domestic water supply. While fish consumption is not a designated use, water bodies have been assessed for fish consumption based on criteria to protect human health.
Volume 1 of the report can be viewed at http://www.water.ky.gov/sw/swmonitor/305b.
The Kentucky Division of Water is seeking comments on Volume 2, the 2010 draft list of impaired waters, as required by the Federal Clean Water Act.
Section 303(d) of the federal Clean Water Act requires the state to identify waters that do not or are not expected to meet state water quality standards. The act also requires the state to develop a priority ranking for these waters, taking into account the severity of the pollution and the designated uses of the water (i.e., fishing, swimming and/or water supply). For each water body, the state must develop a daily maximum allowance for each identified pollutant (total maximum daily load, or TMDL) that will allow the stream to meet water quality standards.
The draft version of the Integrated Report to Congress on the Condition of Water Resources in Kentucky, 2010, Volume 2, is available on the Division of Water website at http://www.water.ky.gov/sw/swmonitor/305b. Comments on Volume 2 of the draft report should be sent by e-mail to Amy.Siewert@ky.gov or by post mail to Division of Water, 200 Fair Oaks Lane, Frankfort, KY 40601 (Attention: Amy Siewert). Comments sent by e-mail should be submitted no later than Aug. 22. Comments sent by post mail should be postmarked no later than Aug. 22.