State releases drinking water quality report

Water Faucet

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Kentuckys 2018 Drinking Water Compliance Report shows that the Commonwealth’s 434 public water systems consistently produce excellent quality water, and have a high rate of compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) requirements.

The annual report, released Monday by the Kentucky Division of Water (DOW), summarizes compliance data and monitoring results of public water systems. Kentuckys public water systems are required by the SDWA to test produced water regularly for more than 100 contaminants and to take corrective action and notify its customers when a contaminant exceeds standards.

- Advertisement -

This report illustrates that Kentucky public water systems, which serve more than 95 percent of Kentuckians, continue to reliably provide high-quality drinking water to our citizens, said DOW Director Peter Goodmann. Given the fiscal, staffing and infrastructure challenges faced by many public water systems, this record of compliance is admirable.

The annual report summarizes the violations issued by the DOW in 2018, most of which are administrative, and reflect issues with monitoring and reporting. Kentuckys public water systems saw a decrease in monitoring and reporting violations in 2017 and that level of compliance was maintained in 2018.

While the number of health-based violations at public water systems increased in 2015 and 2016 with the implementation of new Safe Drinking Water Act requirements for some public water systems, these violations decreased during 2017 and again in 2018, the report showed.

The 2018 drinking water compliance data also indicated that there were no water systems that exceeded the federally established limits for metals, including lead, or volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Violations related to disinfection byproducts (DBPs), a class of contaminants that result from the interaction of disinfection chemicals, such as chlorine, with natural organic material in water, constitute 81 percent of all health-based drinking water violations in Kentucky. The report showed a decrease in these health-based violations, from 173 in 2017 to 122 in 2018. This decrease is attributed to the technical assistance efforts by the Division of Water and the Kentucky Rural Water Association, and the cooperation of public water systems in focusing on reducing DBP issues in challenged systems across Kentucky.

Kentuckys DBP violations have decreased 46% since the initial increase in violations in 2015 and 2016. The surge in health-based violations seen in 2015 was anticipated due to the implementation of the federal rule for Stage 2 Disinfection Byproducts, which required consecutive public water systems that purchase water from another public water system and re-distribute that water to its customers to monitor for and meet recently established standards for DBPs. The consecutive public water systems had previously been exempted from monitoring for DBPs.

Because water age is generally greater in consecutive systems, an overall increase in health-based violations occurred in 2015 and 2016 when consecutive systems came under the DBP rule. Since then, with technical assistance from the DOW and the Kentucky Rural Water Association, public water systems have addressed and mitigated many of these DBP occurrences.

In order to facilitate the DOWs capabilities to provide technical assistance to public water systems, the division participates in U.S. EPAs Area Wide Optimization Program (AWOP). The skills learned through the AWOP have enabled the DOW to give technical assistance to public water systems that have been issued notices of violation but which fail to return to compliance.

The success of these protocols in assisting public water systems with DBP violations was recently evaluated by the U.S. EPA and is being developed as a best management practice to be used in the national AWOP program.

The Kentucky Annual Drinking Water Compliance Report is online at:

Previous articleMan accused of almost hitting sheriff during Montgomery Co. chase
Next articlePolice say heavy rains in Mumbai, India, caused a wall collapse that killed 15 people and a rescue effort is underway
Tom Kenny joined ABC 36 News in June of 2001 as a General Assignment Reporter. A native of Peoria, Illinois, he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Western Illinois University. He currently anchors ABC 36 News at 5pm, 6pm and 11pm. Tom has more than three decades of experience in broadcast journalism. He is the only broadcast journalist in Lexington television history to be honored with a national Edward R. Murrow Award. Tom was recognized for reporting on a story that gave a rare glimpse inside the secretive world of the Federal Witness Protection Program. He has won an Emmy Award for anchoring and another for investigative reporting, exposing the deceit and potential danger of online diploma mills. Tom has ten other Emmy nominations to his credit for investigative and feature reporting. He has won Associated Press Awards for reporting and anchoring. He has won two Addy Awards for excellence in promotional writing. Tom was the first broadcast journalist in Lexington TV history to be awarded the Silver Circle Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. It is one of the highest honors given by NATAS. It recognizes television professionals who have performed distinguished service within the television industry for 25-years or more. Tom was honored for more than his longevity, he was recognized for making an enduring contribution to the vitality of the television industry and for setting high standards of achievement. He was also recognized for giving back to the community as a mentor, educator and volunteer. Tom also has network broadcast experience in radio and television having worked as a sports reporter for ESPN, Sportschannel, NBC Sports and the Breeders’ Cup. He was also the studio host and halftime producer for CBS Radio Sports’ College Football Game of the Week and covered the NFL for One-On-One Radio Sports. Prior to joining WTVQ-TV, Tom was Vice-President of the Houston Astros Minor League baseball team in Lexington. He was part of the original management team that brought professional baseball back to the Bluegrass after a nearly 50-year absence. Tom has lived in Lexington since 1984. In that time, he has been heavily involved with dozens of charity and civic groups, with a special emphasis on helping Veterans. He can be reached at You can also follow Tom on Facebook and Twitter @TomKennyNews. Just click on the links at the top of the page.