Kentucky River Basin Asessment Report

Dix River (lower)

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Geography. The Dix River (lower) watershed includes the western edge of Garrard County, part of northern Lincoln County, and eastern portions of Boyle and Mercer Counties. The land is in the inner subregion of the Bluegrass physiographic region, characterized by undulating terrain and moderate rates of both surface runoff and groundwater drainage. Most of the watershed lies above thick layers of easily dissolved limestone that form carbonate aquifers. Groundwater flows through channels in the limestone, so caves and springs are common in regions with this geology. Some areas lie above interbedded limestones and shales (>20% limestone, allowing groundwater flow where the clay content is low enough).

Waterways. The lower Dix River watershed includes the river itself from the mouth of Gilberts Creek southwest of Lancaster to the confluence with the Kentucky River near High Bridge. Herrington Lake makes up much of this stretch of the Dix River. Among the creeks that feed the river within this watershed are Hawkins Branch, Boone Creek, White Oak Creek, McKecknie Creek, Tanyard Branch, Cane Run, and Rocky Fork. The watershed also receives water from the Dix River (upper), Logan Creek, Hanging Fork Creek, Clarks Run, and Spears Creek & Mocks Branch watersheds.

Land and water use. Land in the watershed is almost 90% agricultural and almost 5% residential. The surface waters of the watershed supply the drinking water for the municipal system in Danville. Eleven businesses and organizations hold permits for discharges into the creeks. See tables for details.

Agency data assessment. The assessed river segments in this watershed fully support their designated uses, based on biological and/or water-quality data. Herrington Lake does not support its designated uses, because of excess nutrient enrichment from a variety of sources. See tables for details.

Watershed rankings. The ranking formula provides a preliminary ranking by synthesizing a broad spectrum of watershed characteristics, current conditions, and threats. This watershed ranks in the group with the lowest need for protection and/or restoration. This rating is for the watershed on average: particular sites and particular waters within the watershed may vary widely. See tables for details.

Volunteer data. Phosphorus levels in the Dix River were elevated enough to cause potential nutrient enrichment problems (> 0.1 mg/L). See tables for details.


Click here to view tables for this watershed, in PDF format. These tables include land-use characteristics, designated uses, stream assessments, public water supply and water withdrawal sites, permitted discharge sites, gaging and sampling sites, volunteer data, and values for the 35 indicators used in calculating watershed rankings. (You need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the tables: Adobe Systems will let you download a free copy.)

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