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Assessment of Pesticides, Nutrients, and Suspended Sediment in the Little River Basin, Kentucky


A Multiple-Source Tracking Approach in the Little River Basin, Kentucky

Surface water and ground water in the Little River Basin, because of the presence of karst topography, are vulnerable to applications of chemicals associated with both agricultural and urban activities, such as pesticides and fertilizers. The potential contamination of streams and ground water by pesticides, fertilizers, and sediment is a major concern to human and aquatic health. State water-quality agencies have identified nutrient enrichment, siltation, and pathogens as water-quality issues affecting surface waters in the Little River Basin. The lack of a substantial water-quality database for the Little River Basin, and concerns about the potential impacts of pesticides on human health, as well as on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems have led to the need for further evaluation of the water quality in the Little River Basin.

The purpose of the proposed work is 1) develop and apply a mulitple-source tracking approach to identify different sources(s) of pathogens (E. coli), sediment and nitrogen that are exported to streams across land use and variable hydrologic conditions, and 2) provide insight into pathways to improve water quality for various parameters. Results will provide a scientific basis for identifying sources of nutrients and suspended sediment, and potentially host-specific microbial-source-tracking (MST) markers and densities of E. coli in consolidated sources of either human or nonhuman waste, and for assisting water-resource manages in prioritizing effective sediment and nutrient reduction strategies that can potentially reduce pathogen (E. coli) concentration in the streams. This effort will also help guide effective restoration efforts primarily in the South Fork Little River subbasin.



Current Hydrologic Conditions


Click map to go to current water resources conditions in Kentucky.


National Water-Quality Data Resources



Water-Quality Trends - A Conversation with Bob Hirsch


Contact Information

    Angie S Crain, Hydrologist
    U.S. Geological Survey
    Kentucky Water Science Center
    9818 Bluegrass Parkway
    Louisville, KY 40299
    Phone: (502) 493-1943
    Email: Angie S. Crain

Study Area

Click map to view larger interactive image

Map of the Little River Basin study area site locations

[Click here to download interactive PDF file of the map]

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Data and Photos

[To view the associated realtime Streamflow data select the site name]

03437560 Rock Bridge Branch at John Rivers Road Data Photos
03437570 Rock Bridge Branch at US 41 Data Photos
03437600 South Fork Little River at KY 107 near Hopkinsville, KY Data Photos
03437520 South Fork Little River at Eagle Way Data Photos
03437500 South Fork Little River at Hopkinsville, KY Data Photos
03437495 South Fork Little River at Highway 68 By-Pass at Hopkinsville, KY Data Photos
03437492 South Fork Little River at Little River Church Road Data Photos
03437480 South Fork Little River at Highway 68/80 near Hopkinsville, KY Data Photos
03437450 Warrens Fork at Vaughns Grove Road near Hopkinsville, KY Data Photos
03437415 South Fork Little River at Butler Road Data Photos
03437410 South Fork Little River at Pilot Rock Road Data Photos
03437425 Unnamed Tributary No 2 at Butler Road Data Photos
03437435 Unnamed Tributary No 1 at Butler Road Data Photos
03437420 Unnamed Tributary at Pilot Rock Road Data Photos
03437370 North Fork Little River at Water Plant at Hopkinsville, KY Data Photos
03437400 North Fork Little River at Gary Lane Bridge near Hopkinsville, KY Data Photos
03437680 Little River at KY 345 near Cadiz, KY Data Photos
03437770 Little River at Highway 117 near Herndon, KY Data Photos
03437900 Little River at Highway 164 near Roaring Spring, KY Data Photos

Partner Information

Cooperators

    Little River Water-Quality Consortium (through the Hopkinsville Surface and Stormwater Utility)

Project Support


    Christian County Agriculture Development Board

    Trigg County Agriculture Development Board

    Todd County Agriculture Development Board


photo of Little River at US 41

South Fork Little River at US 41

USGS staff collecting  a sample

USGS staff measuring streamflow at the "South Fork Little River at Highway 68 By-Pass" site

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Page Last Modified: August 26, 2013 12:51 PM