Kentucky River Basin Asessment Report

Kentucky River 205 140

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Geography. The Kentucky River 205 140 watershed includes edges of Jessamine, Garrard, Mercer, Woodford, Anderson, and Franklin 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. This watershed includes the Kentucky River from just below Lock and Dam Number 8 to the mouth of Benson Creek in Frankfort. Among the creeks that feed it within the watershed are Canoe Creek, Little Hickman Creek, White Oak Creek, Cedar Brook, Brushy Run, Landing Run, Craig Creek, Gilbert Creek, Clay Lick Creek, Bear Branch, Cedar Brook, Bailey Run, Cedar Run, Sharps Run, Vaughn Branch, and Little Benson Creek. Water from the Kentucky River 205 060, Hickman Creek, Jessamine Creek, Clear Creek, Griers Creek, Glenns Creek, Dix River (lower), and Shaker Creek watersheds also flows into this watershed.

Land and water use. Land in the watershed is two-thirds agricultural, one-fourth rural and wooded, and the remainder urban. The surface waters of the watershed supply the drinking water for municipal systems in Frankfort, Harrodsburg, Lawrenceburg, Versailles, and Wilmore. Fourteen businesses and organizations hold permits for discharges into the creeks. See tables for details.

Agency data assessment. The assessed creek segments in this watershed include one (Cedar Run) classified as threatened, 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 highest 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 are three volunteer monitoring stations in the watershed. The station on Craigs Creek registered elevated levels of lead and selenium. 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.)

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

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   Help Windows:   Data Assessment  Ranking Indicators  Water Quality Data More Information