Public comment sought on reports of bacteria-laced streams


FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) – The Kentucky Division of Water is currently seeking public comment on two draft reports that will be addressing 90 bacteria-impaired streams in more than 20 counties across the state.

The streams are all within the Big Sandy River, Little Sandy River, Tygarts Creek, and Kentucky River basins; and the Total Maximum Daily Load, or TDML, reports will provide critical information needed to restore water quality in these waters.

Total Maximum Daily Load refers to the amount of a pollutant a water body can receive and still meet water quality standards.  Standards for E. coli and fecal coliform bacteria are intended to protect the health of those using surface waters for swimming, wading, boating, and other recreation.

The Clean Water Act requires each state to periodically identify specific waters where standards are not being met and then to develop a TMDL for the pollutants not meeting standards.   The TMDL reports are made available to the public for review and comment prior to submission to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for approval.

The two new reports will complete TMDLs for 90 impaired stream segments in the following 21 counties: Bell, Boyd, Boyle, Breathitt, Carter, Casey, Clark, Clay, Estill, Fayette, Floyd, Franklin, Garrard, Grant, Jessamine, Johnson, Lawrence, Leslie, Letcher, Lincoln, Madison, Martin, Mercer, Perry, Pike, and Wolfe.

The reports are part of the Kentucky Statewide Bacteria TMDL, an ongoing effort which will complete TMDLs for more than 350 stream segments by the end of 2022. 

The public comment period ends July 19.

To read the draft reports and find out how to comment, visit the Division of Water website at

You can learn more about how TMDLs help to support water quality restoration, visit the TMDL program website at


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