Source Water Assessment and Protection Plan For Elkhorn Lake (primary source) City of Jenkins PWSID # 0670213

January 21, 2007
By

Letcher County, Kentucky

Prepared by the Kentucky Rural Water Association

in cooperation with the

Kentucky Division of Water

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction…………………………………………………………………4

General System Information……………………………………………..7

Historical Water Withdrawal and Quality………………………………8

Steering Committee………………………………………………………..9

Source Protection in Kentucky  ………………………………………..11

Source Water Assessment Process……………………………………13

Assessment of Project Area……………………………………………..15

Management Strategy……………………………………………………..17

NonRegulatoryActions………………………………………………18

RegulatoryActions……………………………………………………20

Contingency Planning…………………………………………………….21

Appendix A.Inventory of potential contaminant sources………….28

FIGURES

Figure 1.  Source Water Protection Area Maps………………………13-14

Introduction

Public drinking water in the United States is considered among the safest in the world; however, its safety cannot be taken for granted.  The increasing use of chemicals in the American landscape and an aging infrastructure produces new threats to our drinking water supplies.  The most common drinking water contaminants detected in Kentucky are:

  • Bacteria (an indication that water may be contaminated with fecal matter)
  • Turbidity or cloudiness (which can interfere with the treatment process and allow pathogens to survive)
  • Trihalomethanes (organic chemicals created during the disinfection of water)
  • Inorganics (includes nitrates and metals such as mercury and barium)[1]
  • Synthetic Organics (seasonal applied chemicals such as atrazine and simazine)

The goal of every public water system is to ensure that drinking water may be safely consumed and that it meets federal and state Safe Drinking Water Act rules and regulations.  New provisions in the 1996 Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) re-authorization have provided water utilities with additional tools in meeting this goal through the source water protection and assessment program. The SWDA re-authorization (Section 1453) mandated that states develop a Source Water Assessment Program (SWAP) for the protection and benefit of public water systems and for the support of monitoring flexibility. The goal of the assessment program is centered around four main objectives; delineate a protection boundary that identifies the area that  provides your community’s source of drinking water; identify potential sources of contamination within the established boundary; determine susceptibility of the source to those contaminant sources; and make the results available to the public through the annual consumer confidence report. The overall goal of this process is to engage water suppliers, local officials and the public to develop and implement management strategies that prevent the future contamination of their water supply. Kentucky has been at the forefront of source protection with the promulgation of the Water Supply Planning Regulations (401 KAR 4:220) in 1989.

The Source Water Protection Plan is designed to assist communities served by public water systems to reduce or eliminate the potential risks to drinking water supplies and the implementation of contaminant preventative measures. The Commonwealth of Kentucky instituted its source water assessment and protection program in 1990, when the legislature passed a statute requiring long-range county water supply plans. The statute had as its goal the development of long-range water-supply plans for each county and its municipalities and public water systems.

The purposes of water supply plans were to evaluate the situation in each of Kentucky’s 120 counties so that they could prepare to provide adequate water at all times in the foreseeable future. Through the planning process, each county will know the adequacy and security of current supplies, make recommendations to protect them, create contingency plans, and develop alternatives where additional or alternate supplies will be needed during the next 20 years.

With respect to source water assessment and protection, the regulation specifically requires public participation, delineation of source water watersheds and recharge areas for each public water supply source, a contaminant source inventory with relative susceptibility (risk) assessment, and recommendations for protection

What is Source Water Protection?

Drinking water, which may be from ground water, surface water, or both, is vulnerable to being contaminated. If the drinking water source is not protected, contamination can cause a community significant expense as well as put people’s health in danger. Cleaning up contamination or finding a new source of drinking water is complicated, costly, and sometimes impossible.

Preventing drinking water contamination at the source makes sense:

  • good public health sense;
  • good economic sense; and
  • good environmental sense.

Good Public Health Sense.

When waterborne diseases occur due to contaminated drinking water, the burden of solving the problem falls on the community and the State. Source water contamination prevention is the first barrier to the outbreak of waterborne illnesses. Keeping contaminants out of the source water helps keep them out of the drinking water supply.

Good Economic Sense.

In addition, the community and the State bear the economic burden when drinking water sources are contaminated. Not only can wages be lost and medical costs incurred, but alternative water supplies may be required in the short run. Over the long-term, treatment systems may have to be expanded, or a new water source found, to meet new regulatory requirements or to address new contaminant threats. Source water contamination prevention, however, can keep such costs in check. Preventing contamination is often cheaper than remedying its effects. As the old adage goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Good Environmental Sense.

Water is a renewable resource, but there are limits to its quality and quantity. Land development, polluted runoff from agricultural, commercial, and industrial sites, and aging wastewater infrastructure are examples of what can threaten the quality of drinking water sources. In many areas of the country, ground water is being pumped faster than aquifers are being recharged, and depleted aquifers are causing reduced ground water contributions to surface water flow. Surface water withdrawals are diminishing in-stream flows to the point that habitat, as well as water supply uses, are threatened. Planning and taking actions to protect the drinking water sources can also protect the water resource for a multitude of uses.

This document was prepared by the Kentucky Rural Water Association in cooperation with the public water system.


[1] Excerpted from: 1998-99 State of Kentucky’s Environment, Charting a Path of Progress into the Next Century, The Kentucky Environmental Quality Commission, May 1999.

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