Lexington Council members get briefed on waterway quality

WEKU | By Stu Johnson

The current state of waterways throughout Fayette County is improving in some ways, but areas of concern remain. A Lexington City Council committee got an update last week.

The annual report came from Lindsie Nicholas, the MS4 Section Manager in the Division of Water Quality. MS4 means Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System. The Planning Commission is currently considering adding 3000 acres into the Urban Service Area through the Master Plan. Nicholas said new developments must meet current standards.

“Those properties would be required to meet the same requirements as anyone inside the Urban Service Boundary has to meet when they develop for quantity and quality of storm water,” said Nicholas.

With a more impervious surface, Nicholas noted that can mean paying more in the water quality management fee. She added the evaluation of streams shows hitting benchmarks for temperature, dissolved oxygen, and PH but there are issues with e-coli, nitrogen, and sediments.

Nicholas said consideration is being given to retrofitting some detention basins.

“To start holding back those erosive causing flows then you can really start having impacts on stream habitats and improving your stream conditions that way. That’s not necessarily talking about e-coli and bacteria, but you are making improvements from a habitat perspective,” said Nicholas.

Nicholas said there can be an increase in fish and bugs with a shift from degradation to equilibrium in the streams. The MS4 Section Manager noted some screening at detention basins can slow the flow down. Nicholas added Fayette County has some 12 hundred detention basins.

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Republished with permission. Photo by The Lexington Times.