The Power of Information

National Drinking Water Database


Kentucky


386 systems serving 4,908,697 people

This drinking water quality report shows results of tests conducted by water utilities in Kentucky, provided to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) by the Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection. It is part of EWG's national database that includes 47,667 drinking water utilities and 20 million test results from 45 states and the District of Columbia. Water utilities nationwide detected more than 300 pollutants between 2004 and 2009. More than half of these chemicals are unregulated, legal in any amount. Despite this widespread contamination, the federal government invests few resources in protecting rivers, reservoirs, and groundwater from pollution in the first place. The information below summarizes drinking water quality for this state.



 
Chemicals
Water Utilities
Population Served
Detected Chemicals
63
386
4,804,170
Exceed health guidelines*
35
319
4,430,201
Exceed Legal Limits*
12
139
1,817,262
Unregulated chemicals detected
3
1
34,650
* Water utilities are noted as exceeding the legal limit if any test is above the maximum contaminant level (MCL). Most MCLs are based on annual averages so exceeding the MCL for one test does not necessarily indicate that the system is out of compliance.

35 Contaminants Exceeding Health Based Limits

Contaminants detected in Kentucky drinking water above health guidelines, according to an Environmental Working Group analysis of data obtained from state water authorities

Contaminant
Population
Number of Systems
At Any Level Above Health Limits At Any Level Above Health Limits
Lead (total)3,711,1383,711,138228228
Total haloacetic acids (HAAs)3,616,7113,616,711211211
Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs)3,639,0783,502,086213172
Copper4,734,450501,73337552
Aluminum3,167,468463,40214341
Arsenic (total)451,359451,3591212
Atrazine348,769314,1192423
Radium-228287,549287,5491919
Pentachlorophenol248,064248,06411
Alpha particle activity (excl radon and uranium)190,995190,9951717

Water Utilities in Kentucky Reporting Chemicals Exceeding Health Guidelines

Water utilities in Kentucky reporting chemicals exceeding health guidelines, according to an Environmental Working Group analysis of data obtained from state water authorities, include:

System
Population
Chemicals tested
Chemicals found
Chemicals exceeding
health guidelines
Bardstown Municipal Water Dept34,650773213
Grayson County Water District18,910791710
Liberty Water Works3,274791510
Franklin Water Works13,51081147
Morganfield Water Works6,10573106
Shelbyville Water & Sewer Commission26,11076136
Mountain Water Dist #1 Marrow Bone22,32574166
Oldham County Water District24,1867396
West Liberty Water Company2,9507396
Cave Run Regional WT Comm2574116
City of Hindman2,3507586
Lancaster Water Works5,94076116
Owensboro Municipal Utilities54,10479116
Versailles Water System18,31576115
Webster Co Water District4,38675105
Logan-Todd Regional Water Commission2579125
Campbellsville Municipal Water28,54577115
Ohio County Water District18,4977195
Brandenburg Water Works4,2547395
Hodgenville Water Works5,50173125

Sources of Kentucky Drinking Water Contaminants

The contaminants identified in Kentucky drinking water come from a wide variety of sources, including agriculture, industry, water treatment plants, and polluted storm runoff from urban areas.

63Total Contaminants Detected (2004 - 2009)
29Agricultural Pollutants
(pesticides, fertilizer, factory farms)

Arsenic (total), Cyanide, Nitrate & nitrite, Nitrate, Nitrite, Selenium (total), Endrin, Lindane, Methoxychlor, Toxaphene, Dalapon, Diquat, Endothall, Glyphosate, Oxamyl (Vydate), Simazine, Aldicarb sulfoxide, Aldicarb sulfone, Carbofuran, Aldicarb, Atrazine, Heptachlor, Heptachlor epoxide, 2,4-D, Foaming agents (surfactants), 1,2-Dibromo-3-chloropropane (DBCP), Ethylene dibromide (EDB), Chlordane, Ethylbenzene

22Sprawl and Urban Pollutants
(road runoff, lawn pesticides, human waste)

Arsenic (total), Cadmium (total), Copper, Cyanide, Lead (total), Mercury (total inorganic), Nitrate & nitrite, Nitrate, Nitrite, Silver (total), Antimony (total), Lindane, Dalapon, Glyphosate, Di(2-Ethylhexyl) adipate, 2,4-D, Benzo[a]pyrene, Foaming agents (surfactants), Xylenes (total), Chlordane, Dichloromethane (methylene chloride), Tetrachloroethylene

40Industrial Pollutants

Aluminum, Arsenic (total), Chlorite, Barium (total), Cadmium (total), Chromium (total), Cyanide, Lead (total), Manganese, Mercury (total inorganic), Nitrate & nitrite, Nitrate, Nitrite, Selenium (total), Silver (total), Antimony (total), Beryllium (total), Thallium (total), Asbestos, Lindane, Di(2-Ethylhexyl) adipate, Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, Hexachlorocyclopentadiene, Hexachlorobenzene (HCB), Pentachlorophenol, 1,2,4-Trichlorobenzene, Total polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), Foaming agents (surfactants), Ethylene dibromide (EDB), Xylenes (total), Dichloromethane (methylene chloride), Trichloroethylene, Tetrachloroethylene, Toluene, Ethylbenzene, Alpha particle activity (excl radon and uranium), Combined Radium (-226 & -228), Radium-226, Radium-228, Gross beta particle activity (pCi/L)

7Water Treatment and Distribution Byproducts
(pipes and fixtures, treatment chemicals and byproducts)

Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs), Total haloacetic acids (HAAs), Chlorite, Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, Cadmium (total), Asbestos, Benzo[a]pyrene

19Naturally Occurring
(naturally present but increased for lands denuded by sprawl, agriculture, or industrial development)

Aluminum, Arsenic (total), Barium (total), Chromium (total), Copper, Cyanide, Lead (total), Manganese, Mercury (total inorganic), Nitrate & nitrite, Nitrate, Nitrite, Selenium (total), Silver (total), Alpha particle activity (excl radon and uranium), Combined Radium (-226 & -228), Radium-226, Radium-228, Gross beta particle activity (pCi/L)

4Unregulated Contaminants
EPA has not established a maximum legal limit in tapwater for these contaminants

Lead (total), Aldicarb sulfoxide, Aldicarb sulfone, Aldicarb


Testing Summary for Kentucky

The federal government has set standards for some of the pollutants found in tap water supplies.

Contaminants reported as tested by water suppliers in Kentucky85
 Contaminants tested due to federal law: 78
 Contaminants tested in addition to those required by federal law: 7

Violation Summary for Kentucky

Data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency includes the following violations of federal standards in Kentucky since 2004

Violation TypeNumber of Violations
Failure to monitor regularly1,124
Over maximum contaminant level, Average370
Monitoring and Reporting Disinfection Byproduct Rule318
Inadequate reporting of information to the public256
Failure to report information to the public or state agency in the Consumer Confidence Report197
Failure to monitor, Routine Minor (Coliform bacteria)196
Treatment Technique Precursor Removal101
Follow-up and Routine Tap Sampling96
Failure to monitor, Routine Major (Coliform bacteria)93
Public Notification Violation for National Primary Drinking Water Regulations88
Maximum contaminant level, Monthly (Coliform bacteria)76
Filter Turbidity Reporting43
Failure to monitor, Repeat Major (Coliform bacteria)30
Excess Turbidity at 0.3 NTU26
Failure to monitor or report, Routine/Repeat (Indicators of microbial or virus contamination)25
Failure to monitor, Repeat Minor (Coliform bacteria)13
Failure to monitor or report, Routine/Repeat (Indicators of microbial or virus contamination)12
Excess Turbidity at 1 NTU9
Maximum contaminant level, Acute (Coliform bacteria)7
Other Non-National Primary Drinking Water Regulations Potential Health Risks6
Initial Tap Sampling for Lead and Copper3
Over maximum contaminant level, Single Sample2
Treatment Technique (Surface Water Treatment Rule)2