The Drowning Creek
watershed lies along the boundary between Madison and Estill Counties. The land
is in the Knobs physiographic region, characterized by hilly terrain, very rapid
surface runoff, and very slow groundwater drainage. In level parts of the Knobs,
runoff and groundwater drainage are slow. The watershed lies partly above
fractured shales through which groundwater can easily move but which stores very
little water. Other sections of the watershed lie over easily weathered clay
shales that store water but allow little groundwater flow. The rest of the
watershed lies over interbedded shales and limestones (these are 20% limestone;
water conduction is poor because of the clay content of the shale).
Waterways. Drowning Creek empties into the Kentucky River northeast
of Bybee. Among the creeks that feed it are Knob Lick Branch, Oldham Branch,
Butler Branch, and Black Branch.
Land and water use. Land in the watershed is about 55% agricultural
and more than 40% rural and wooded. Two businesses and organizations hold
permits for discharges into the creeks. See tables for details.
Agency data assessment. The assessed creek segments in this watershed
fully support their designated uses, based on biological and/or water-quality
data. 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. There is a volunteer sampling site on Drowning Creek.
See tables for details.