Kentucky River Basin Asessment Report

Kentucky River 204 030

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OVERVIEW

Geography. The Kentucky River 204 030 watershed straddles the southern boundary between Lee County and Estill County. The land is in the escarpment area of the Eastern Kentucky Coal Field physiographic region, characterized by hilly terrain, very rapid surface runoff, and moderate rates of groundwater drainage. The watershed is underlain by coals, sandstones, and shales: this geology is generally conducive to productive wells, although water quality may be low for wells that draw from coal layers. Parts of the watershed lie over easily weathered clay shales that store water but allow little groundwater flow. Other parts of the watershed lie above interbedded clay shales and siltstones.

Waterways. This watershed includes the Kentucky River between Sturgeon Creek (Heidelberg) and Station Camp Creek (Irvine). Among the creeks that feed it are Cave Branch, Willow Branch, Ross Creek, Wolf Pen Branch, Buck Lick Branch, Buck Creek, and Big Doe Creek. Water from the Millers Creek, Cow Creek, Sturgeon Creek, and Kentucky River 204 010 watersheds also flow into this watershed.

Land and water use. Land in the watershed is mainly rural and wooded; about 10% is agricultural. The surface waters of the watershed supply the drinking water for the municipal system in Irvine. Two businesses 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 a moderate 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. No volunteer data were collected in this watershed in 1999.

TABLES

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.)

MAPS                    [You may click the maps below to view them close up.]

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