Division of Water
KENTUCKY DRINKING WATER SYSTEMS SHOW SIGNIFICANT PROGRESS
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Oct. 7, 2005) – Drinking water systems that made progress toward complying with the Safe Drinking Water Act in the last three years are highlighted in a report to Governor Ernie Fletcher.
The Kentucky Division of Water (DOW) developed the triennial report to show how its Capacity Development Program is addressing problems water systems have had in developing the technical, managerial and financial expertise they need.
Technical assistance and water “budgets” are among tools of the program.
Between 2002 and 2005, environmental technologists in the DOW Drinking Water Branch made more than 1,100 technical assistance visits covering all aspects of water treatment and distribution.
They also encouraged regionalization of small systems. The results have been that in 1999, the Commonwealth had 3.3 million people being served by 698 public water systems (PWS), of which 41 were identified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as persistent violators of drinking water laws and regulations.
In 2002, there were 595 PWSs serving more than 3.6 million Kentuckians. Twenty systems were identified as persistent violators. By September 2005, Kentucky had 3.7 million people being served by 521 PWSs, of which 11 systems were identified as persistent violators.
A water “budget” is designed to avoid the issuance of a system-wide line extension ban or tap-on ban.
A PWS nearing its system design capacity enters into an order under which it agrees to careful planning and management of available water.
The agreed order typically includes a two- to five-year planned solution to increase system design capacity, and it allows the system to grow. At present, water budgets have been proposed by nine PWSs, and seven more are expected to enter into agreed orders by the end of the year. Without this tool, growth of the community would effectively be halted.
DOW also faces the challenge of “orphan” drinking water systems that have no one responsible for maintaining them or providing water quality testing. A task force is looking for solutions for these systems.
One such solution is to locate PWSs with the capacity to absorb the orphans. Two orphan systems have been identified for elimination by the end of 2005. To read the report online, go to http://www.water.ky.gov/dw/.