For the first time since 2005, the Kentucky Watershed Watch Program is changing the tests it conducts on rivers, lakes and streams. Throughout the year, the program’s 12 hundred volunteers take samples, giving the state a better feel for the quality of its surface water. Joanna Palmer with the Watershed Watch Office says they’re now teaching new methods to volunteers...
“If they are following the protocols, the sampling protocols that we use here in the division of water..it will give us a better idea of what is happening in the stream,” said Palmer.
Palmer says wastewater from factories and raw sewage are often considered some of the biggest pollutants. However, she says runoff from farms and private lawns tend to create bigger problems.
“A lot of people want to blame things on straight pipes, industries and everything else..but most of the time it’s the simple little Joe that is not paying attention to what’s happening in his own yard.. that’s polluting,” added Palmer.
Palmer says they’ve found a heavy rain can actually wash more pollutants into creeks and rivers..
“When there’s a heavy rainfall, it will cause the pathogens and the pollutants in the water, e-coli fecal chloroform ,anything like that that’s may be in the water to actually increase,” said Palmer.
Palmer says the waterways are typically checked in May, July, and during the fall.