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
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.