Assessment of Pesticides, Nutrients, and Suspended Sediment 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
National Water-Quality Data Resources
Water-Quality Trends - A Conversation with Bob Hirsch
Angie S Crain, Hydrologist
(Adobe Reader is required to view the interactive PDF map above and the photos below - click here to download the free Adobe Acrobat Reader)
Data and Photos
[To view the associated realtime Streamflow data select the site name]
Little River Water-Quality Consortium (through the Hopkinsville Surface and Stormwater Utility)
Christian County Agriculture Development Board
Trigg County Agriculture Development Board
Todd County Agriculture Development Board
South Fork Little River at US 41
USGS staff measuring streamflow at the "South Fork Little River at Highway 68 By-Pass" site