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Floyds Fork Watershed

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The Floyds Fork Watershed is the largest watershed in the county and is approximately 122 square miles. There are five sampling sites in the watershed. These sites are located on Floyds Fork, Pope Lick, Chenoweth Run and Long Run. It is the least impacted of the watersheds and remains the least impacted of all those in Jefferson County. At this time the only stream segments on the State (303d) list for aquatic life or recreational contact impairment are Long Run and Chenoweth Run. The Kentucky Division of Water (DOW) classifies streams based upon their potential use, whether they may be used for recreational purposes, whether they support aquatic life, etc. The 303d list identifies streams within Kentucky that do not meet their designated use or partially fail to meet their designated use. Vigorous development in the northern half of the watershed requires long range planning for wastewater and storm water treatment. Without this planning, the impacts from the development will adversely affect the streams.

The Floyds Fork watershed contains the largest, most diverse mussel population of any stream within Jefferson County. Mussel populations have declined seriously in most urban areas within the United States. Mussels are extremely important and pollution-intolerant organisms. They are good indicators of healthy stream systems. Mussel populations within Floyds Fork streams are considered threatened.

Fecal coliforms exceed recreational standards about one-third of the time. The elevation of fecal coliform is likely due to septic tanks, several package water quality treatment centers, and animal waste from farms. Nutrient enrichment is also a problem in the watershed. Much of the nutrient load to the streams comes from chemically treated lawns and golf courses, agriculture, septic tanks and small water quality treatment centers. The stream is also being impacted by heavy silt loads from construction sites and agriculture. These impacts threaten the habitat quality within the stream and the diversity of life it now supports. Biological diversity and habitat quality are generally good in the Floyds Fork watershed, but they are declining.

Floyds Fork is an area that will benefit from increased conservation practices and thoughtful preservation of its unique natural environment. MSD is currently constructing the Floyds Fork Water Quality Treatment Center just north of Interstate 64. This large treatment plant will eliminate the less efficient small package plants and septic tanks from the most populated areas of the watershed.

To learn more about the Floyds Fork watershed, visit, a website with information on the area.

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Last Updated: July 06, 2012

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