Kentucky River Basin Asessment Report

Kentucky River (205 250)

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Geography. The Kentucky River 205 250 watershed occupies central Franklin County and continues along the border between Henry and Owen Counties. The land is in the hills of the bluegrass subregion of the Bluegrass physiographic region, characterized by hilly terrain, very rapid surface runoff, and slow groundwater drainage. Much 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. Other parts of the watershed lie over interbedded shales and limestones (these are 20% limestone; water conduction is poor because of the clay content of the shale). Still other areas are underlain by interbedded limestones and shales (>20% limestone, allowing groundwater flow where the clay content is low enough). Unconsolidated silts, sands, and gravels occur along the flood plain of the river and on adjoining upland terraces.

Waterways. This watershed includes the Kentucky River from the mouth of Benson Creek in Frankfort to the mouth of Eagle Creek at the Carroll County line. Among the creeks that feed it within the watershed are Barrel Branch, Stony Creek, Duvall Branch, Steeles Branch, Sand Ripple Creek, Stevens Creek, Pot Ripple Creek, Clay Lick Creek, Canes Run, Gullion Creek, and Little Twin Creek. Water from the Kentucky River 205 140, Benson Creek, Elkhorn Creek, Flat Creek, Cedar Creek, Severn Creek, Sixmile Creek, Drennon Creek, and Mill Creek & Big Twin Creek watersheds also flows into this watershed.

Land and water use. Land in the watershed is about 45% agricultural and 45% rural and wooded; about 5% is residential. Five 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 that only partially supports its designated uses, based on biological and/or water-quality data. Pathogens contribute to the impairment of these streams. 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. No volunteer data were collected in this watershed in 1999.


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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