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Surface Water Quality

The Health Department’s Master Health Plan identifies surface water quality as a Northern Kentucky priority public health issue.

An environmentalist tests water in a creekIndustrial and household chemical pollution, deteriorating and inadequate municipal sewers, and malfunctioning septic systems were all identified as threats to the public health. To accomplish the goal of reducing “the potential for illness by contact with or ingestion of contaminated water,” the Health Department and several regional organizations have begun implementing several strategies identified in the Master Plan, including:

The success of the project led to similar watershed watch groups in every basin in Kentucky with more than 3,000 citizen volunteers statewide as of 2006. In Northern Kentucky, as of January 2007, there were 13 monitoring sites in the Licking River watershed and the smaller tributaries to the Ohio; and eight monitoring sites in the Kentucky River watershed.

Other strategies in the Master Health Plan, such as community education opportunities, repairing and replacing malfunctioning septic systems, promoting implementation of agricultural best management practices, etc. are on going.