The Paint Lick Creek
watershed lies along the Madison County-Garrard County line. The upper reaches
of the watershed lie in the outer subregion of the Bluegrass physiographic
region, characterized by undulating terrain, moderate to rapid surface runoff,
and moderate rates of groundwater drainage. The lower part of the watershed 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. 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). Other areas are underlain by interbedded limestones and shales
(>20% limestone, allowing groundwater flow where the clay content is low
Waterways. Paint Lick Creek empties into the Kentucky River at the
juncture of Fayette, Madison, and Garrard Counties. Among the creeks that feed
it in Garrard County are Walnut Meadow Branch, White Lick Creek, Frog Branch,
Lowell Branch, Broadus Branch, Long Branch, and Back Creek. Dog Walk Branch,
Gilead Branch, Wheeler Branch, and Sledd Branch are among its Madison County
Land and water use. Land in the watershed is about 85% agricultural,
about 15% rural and wooded, and less than 3% residential and commercial. Four
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 segment that only partially supports its designated uses, based on
biological and/or water-quality data. Pathogens from agricultural sources
contribute to the impairment of the 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 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. One of two sites exhibited elevated thallium levels
and phosphorus levels elevated enough to cause potential nutrient enrichment
problems (> 0.1 mg/L). See tables for details.