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Use Drinking Water Watch, the public access drinking water database to find information about public water systems in Kentucky (does not include bottled water or semipublic water systems, which must be contacted directly). Use the county map to discover information about each public drinking water system in each county.
As a customer receiving water from a public water system, you can obtain information or ask questions about your tap water by contacting your local water system.  Read the Consumer Confidence Report (CCR), also called the Water Quality Report, which is distributed by your local water provider each year between January and July 1st. The CCR provides a report card of your tap water for the previous year and lists ways you can become involved in helping protect drinking water. Be sure to check monthly bills for Public Notices and electronic delivery of the CCR. Ask your local water system for a copy of the CCR. If you don't know the name of your local public water system, you can find it through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Safe Drinking Water Information System.

Lead can enter drinking water when service pipes that contain lead corrode, especially where the water has high acidity or low mineral content that corrodes pipes and fixtures. The most common problem is with brass or chrome-plated brass faucets and fixtures with lead solder, from which significant amounts of lead can enter into the water, especially hot water.

Homes built before 1986 are more likely to have lead pipes, fixtures and solder. The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) has reduced the maximum allowable lead content -- that is, content that is considered "lead-free" -- to be a weighted average of 0.25 percent calculated across the wetted surfaces of pipes, pipe fittings, plumbing fittings, and fixtures and 0.2 percent for solder and flux.

Corrosion is a dissolving or wearing away of metal caused by a chemical reaction between water and your plumbing. A number of factors are involved in the extent to which lead enters the water, including:

  • the chemistry of the water (acidity and alkalinity) and the types and amounts of minerals in the water,
  • the amount of lead it comes into contact with,
  • the temperature of the water,
  • the amount of wear in the pipes,
  • how long the water stays in pipes, and
  • the presence of protective scales or coatings inside the plumbing materials.

To address corrosion of lead and copper into drinking water, EPA issued the Lead and Copper Rule (LCR) under the authority of the SDWA. One requirement of the LCR is corrosion control treatment to prevent lead and copper from contaminating drinking water. Corrosion control treatment means utilities must make drinking water less corrosive to the materials it comes into contact with on its way to consumers' taps.

Homeowners should learn about disaster preparedness before an emergency arises. Contact your local Kentucky Emergency Management office, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or to learn more.
  • Assemble a family disaster supply kit. Include water, food, first aid supplies, clothing, bedding, tools and any special medications. Place in a portable container such as a large covered trash can, a large cooler, a camping backpack or a duffel bag.
  • Stock up on bottled water. Store at least one gallon of water per person per day for a minimum of three days.

Emergency Disinfection of Drinking Water

Boiling - Vigorously boil water for one minute to kill disease-causing microorganisms present in water (at altitudes above one mile, boil for three minutes). Allow the boiled water to stand for a few hours or add a pinch of salt for each quart of water boiled to alleviate the flat taste.

Chemical Treatment - Use household chlorine bleach according to the directions on the label to disinfect water (10 drops per quart; 20 drops per quart if water is cloudy or cold). Allow to stand at least 30 minutes. Chlorine tablets for drinking water disinfection are also readily available for purchase. Iodine drops and tablets are also viable disinfectants. Use two drops (or one tablet) per quart.

Learn more about emergency disinfection from the Environmental Protection Agency.

The 1996 Amendments of the Safe Drinking Water Act established numerous "right-to-know" provisions to give customers of public water systems greater access to information and opportunities to get involved in drinking water issues. The right-to-know provisions are based on the premise that accountability to the public is vital to address and prevent threats to drinking water. This lists just a few ways you can get involved.
• Read the Consumer Confidence Report each July.
• Comment on new drinking water regulations and learn more about EPA's regulation development process.
• Comment on funding decisions through the drinking water state revolving loan fund, Intended Use Plans (IUP) [1022 KB].
• Read your local source water assessment.
• Participate in community activities to protect the source water Watershed Watch.
• Provide input on the state's capacity development program.
• Attend public meetings, public hearings or your local water system's board meetings.
• Access EPA's Enforcement and Compliance History Online database.
• Report unusual activities, threats or pollution spills in your watershed. For environmental emergencies such as spills of gas, oil or other substances, contact the Environmental Response Team. 502-564-2380 or 1-800-928-2380

In 1997, the Division of Water launched its watershed management program.  This program was a public outreach effort to promote the new watershed management plan and enlist volunteers to help in the assessment of the waterways in Kentucky. Since 1997, Watershed Watch in Kentucky has trained nearly 4,000 volunteers and currently has approximately 2,000 volunteers that continue to sample across the state. There are monitoring stations in Kentucky, Virginia, West Virginia and Tennessee.

Watershed Watch offers training to citizens interested in water quality. Volunteers are trained on how to take a qualified water sample that is analyzed by professional labs. They are also trained on how to perform basic water quality field data, consisting of dissolved oxygen, pH, temperature and conductivity. Volunteers can also be trained to perform biological and habitat assessments. To learn more about this and other outreach programs, visit our Community Outreach page.

The Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) was established by the 1996 Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) Amendments and authorizes the state to use federal money to provide loan assistance to eligible public water systems to ensure safe drinking water as a public health concern under SDWA requirements. Public participation in the program is encouraged. The public may participate in reviewing and commenting on the DWSRF program, the Intended Use Plan [1022 KB] and Capacity Development. Public review includes:

  1. The short- and long-term goals of the DWSRF program.
  2. The priority system used for ranking individual projects (refer to the Intended Use Plan (IUP).
  3. The priority lists of projects.
  4. The financial status of the DWSRF program.
  5. A description of the amounts and intended uses of funds that the state will use for set-aside activities.
  6. The strategy, effectiveness and elements of capacity development.