State Water Resources Research Institute Program

Project ID: 2007KY88B
Title: Determination of nutrient sources in a eutrophic lake impacted by human activity, Wilgreen Lake, Madison County, Kentucky: A first step toward development of remediaiton strategies
Project Type: Research
Start Date: 3/01/2007
End Date: 2/29/2008
Congressional District: KY 6th
Focus Categories: Non Point Pollution, Nutrients, Surface Water
Keywords: nutrient loading, tracer techniques, source identification
Principal Investigator: Borowski, Walter S. (Eastern Kentucky University)
Federal Funds: $ 5,000
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 15,000
Abstract: Wilgreen Lake is a eutrophic system formed by damming Taylor Fork, which ultimately feeds Silver Creek and the Kentucky River. The lake is designated as an "impaired" lake by the EPA. Preliminary evidence suggests that the lake is subject to nutrient loading by livestock production, runoff from developed areas, and septic systems. We suspect that much of the nutrients enter the lake through septic systems that occur on half-acre lots with karst substrates. We propose to use nitrogen and perhaps oxygen isotopes, as well as microbial Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) techniques, to identify sources of nutrient input. Once the primary sources of nutrients are identified, effective remediation strategies can be developed and implemented. The project is timely because Wilgreen Lake is now experiencing an explosion of residential development directly around its shores, which predicts added nutrient input from septic systems.

Progress/Completion Report, PDF

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