The severity of the drought in the Ohio River basin has officials with the US Army Corps of Engineers monitoring water sources in Kentucky and surrounding states.
Eric Emory is an expert on water quality with the corps. He says intense heat and humidity reduces water levels and impairs its flow and condition. Fish kills are more likely, he says, because of reduced oxygen in the water and blooms of harmful algae can also occur.
“The public risk here is allergic reaction or gas or intestinal illness. More severe conditions can occur through prolonged exposure to high toxin levels; and it’s possible- pet deaths… for animals that are swimming in or drinking the water.”
Emory says the corps is watching lakes, rivers and tributaries throughout the region for signs of trouble. He says they have plans of action in place and are ready to respond quickly should problems develop.