Division of Water
Report on Water Quality in Kentucky is Released
The Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet has released the 2008 Integrated Report to Congress on Water Quality in Kentucky, prepared every two years as required by Section 305(b) of the Clean Water Act.
The Clean Water Act seeks to make the nation’s waters safe for swimming and fishing and for supporting healthy aquatic life. The report assesses the extent to which the state’s waters have attained those goals. State water quality regulations designate uses for rivers, streams and lakes. Assessments for the report examine whether streams support those designated uses, including aquatic life, swimming, fish consumption and domestic water supply.
The 2008 report is based primarily on results from monitoring performed between April 2005 and March 2007 in the Four Rivers-Upper Cumberland River and the Green-Tradewater rivers basin management units (BMUs) (see map). Monitoring and assessment were performed on 563 stream segments representing 2,506 stream miles in the Four Rivers-Upper Cumberland BMU and 437 stream segments totaling 2,548 stream miles in the Green-Tradewater BMU. The report also incorporates assessment data and results from monitoring that occurred during this reporting cycle in other areas, thus providing a statewide update of monitoring results.
The Four Rivers unit includes Kentucky drainage into the Lower Cumberland, Tennessee, Mississippi and Ohio rivers. The Four Rivers region includes the far western portion of Kentucky, with portions of the Lower Cumberland River basin, Lower Tennessee River basin and direct tributaries to the Ohio and Mississippi rivers.
The Upper Cumberland River basin includes the headwaters of the Cumberland River down to the Kentucky-Tennessee line.
The Green River and Tradewater river basins include all those areas that drain into the two rivers.
This report shows that the major causes of waters not fully supporting uses were pathogens, which affected swimming, and siltation and habitat alterations, which affected aquatic life. The major impairments resulted from agricultural runoff, changes in habitat and mining. The report can be viewed at http://www.water.ky.gov/sw/swmonitor/305b/.