State working to clean up Floyds Fork - WDRB 41 Louisville News

State working to clean up Floyds Fork

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WDRB) -- Floyds Fork in eastern Jefferson County can make you sick.

The Kentucky Division of Water is trying to come up with a plan to improve the polluted waterway.

A WDRB News investigation in June collected water samples from Floyds Fork that found E-coli levels more than double the maximum acceptable levels set by the federal government.

In addition, a 350-page report from the Kentucky Division of Water found high levels of both E-coli and coliform.

"There are a number of problems in the Floyds Fork watershed, we have E-coli problems, we have pathogens, and too many nutrients," said Peter Goodmann, the assistant director of the Kentucky Division of Water.

The report said the pollutants come from livestock and human waste, storm sewer runoff, and malfunctioning waste water treatment plants.

"I think most people are in favor of cleaner waterways," said Judy Petersen, the executive director of the Kentucky Waterways Alliance. It is an organization that works for clean water in the state.

On Monday Petersen participated in a public meeting at the Division of Water which is currently seeking public input for ways to clean up Floyds Fork.

But a final plan is at least several years away. The solutions are complex.

Says Goodmann, "We have to understand the dynamics of the watershed; how water moves; how the pollutants move; where they are coming from; and then try to come up with a plan for managing these."

The state says a lot more monitoring is needed, and it will need to work with local communities to come up with solutions.

"We need to be able to build homes, we need to be able to farm, we want all of those things," said Petersen. "But there is no reason we cannot do them properly and have healthy streams."

In the meantime, the Division of Water says Floyds Fork is still safe for recreation. But it says swimmers should not put their head into the water -- and most of all -- they should never drink it.

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