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Our Mission:

The mission of the Division of Water is to manage, protect and enhance the quality and quantity of the Commonwealth's water resources for present and future generations through voluntary, regulatory and educational programs.


​​Select a Branch of the Division of Water to learn more

The Division of Water's Director's Office is responsible for:

  • Prioritizing the division's efforts and resources to accomplish the mission

  • Planning, budgeting, legislation/regulation oversight and personnel management

  • Representing the division and the Commonwealth of Kentucky on national, regional and state boards and interest groups

Sarah Gaddis, Director 502-782-6990

John Webb, Assistant Director 502-782-7126

John Carlton, Administrative Specialist III, 502-782-1646,​

Carole Catalfo, Policy Analyst 502-782-6914

Melanie Arnold, Environmental Scientist Consultant II 502-782-6879

Josiah Frey, Environmental Scientist Consultant I 502-782-0164

Jory Becker, Environmental Engineer Consultant I 502-782-6887​​

Alicia Jacobs,  Branch Manager, 502-782-6987

The Drinking Water Branch works closely with Public Water systems and Environmental Laboratories to ensure that the systems receive accurate sample results, treat and distribute water properly, are appropriately staffed and equipped to meet today’s challenges as well as future challenges in protection of the public health. Approximately 95 percent of Kentuckians have access to drinking water from public water systems that are required to meet the strict standards of the federal Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). In Kentucky, the division has the administrative and regulatory authority to implement SDWA, through which the EPA sets maximum contaminant levels and goals (MCLs and MCLGs), Action Levels and minimum residuals for the ninety plus contaminants that may occur in finished drinking water and to ensure water is disinfected for disease causing organisms.

Compliance Section

Ethan Givan, Administrative Section Supervisor, 502-782-6984​
In Kentucky, the Division of Water has the administrative and regulatory authority to implement the SDWA, through which the Compliance Section Rule Managers review sample analysis results to ensure public water systems in Kentucky maintain compliance with Safe Drinking Water Act regulations. These Rule Managers administer rules for Disinfection Byproducts (DBP) such as Trihalomethanes and Haloacetic Acids, Lead and Copper, Synthetic and Volatile Organic Chemicals (SOC and VOC) SOCs predominantly come from pesticides, herbicides and plastics and many VOCs come from paints, coatings and fossil fuels. Inorganic Chemicals (IOC) such as arsenic, asbestos, cadmium and chromium (total) are also monitored. Bacteria such as total coliform and E coli. Rule Managers also ensure that treatment processes provide adequate protection from these contaminants.

Technical Assistance Section
Joseph Uliaz,  Administrative Section Supervisor, 502-782-6291
Technical Assistance Providers provide one-on-one support to drinking water systems throughout the state and provide a large amount of training to the public in support of clean, safe drinking water for Kentuckians. They also provide scientific expertise to assist public water systems to return to and maintain compliance with Safe Drinking Water Act regulations. They also administer the Area Wide Optimization Program (AWOP) which is an EPA program that encourages public water systems to not only meet but to exceed federal drinking water requirements providing Kentuckians with the highest quality water possible.​

Laboratory Certification Section
Kevin Stewart, Administrative Section​ Supervisor, 502-782-7081
The Laboratory Certification Section oversees the Kentucky Drinking Water and Wastewater Laboratory Certification Program ensures that compliance data for Kentucky Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (KPDES) permits is compliant with sampling and analysis requirements. The program standardizes procedures used in analyzing KPDES compliance samples and reporting results to help ensure the quality of analytical data used by the division. The program establishes procedures for applying for certifications, annual fees, appropriate methods and references for evaluating and assuring that laboratories meet acceptable accuracy and precision requirements.

Regional Field Offices

(vacant),  Branch Manager​

The field staff in each of the Division of Water regional offices performs a wide variety of inspections and addresses the concerns raised by the public with swift responses to complaints and emergencies. The division requires its inspectors to have broad programmatic knowledge and experience in addressing compliance issues. Inspectors must be well trained and equipped in order to perform consistent inspections, provide technical assistance and implement appropriate enforcement action.

Complaints and Emergencies
Central office and regional office personnel expend significant resources responding to complaints and emergencies. The responses range from investigation of routine violations to response to large natural disasters. Although it is a challenge to prepare for these large scale events, inspectors are expected to complete timely and professional responses.

Regional Offices Personnel.pdf

​Heather Baker,​ Administrative Branch Manager 502-782-7124

The Program Planning and Support Branch is responsible for strategic planning, grants management, coordinating and supporting the administrative, financial and infrastructure functions of the division, including the development and management of the division’s budget. The branch also facilitates the development and promulgation of division regulations and legislation. This involves drafting regulations and legislative proposals, coordinating public hearings and distributing newly filed administrative regulations to public subscribers, tracking state and federal bills generated during legislative sessions. The branch also coordinates the division’s training, travel approval and reimbursement, and pro card administration. There are two sections in this branch.

Grant Management Section
Michele Howard, Administrative Section Supervisor, 502-782-3098
The Grant Management Section (GMS) serves as the financial administrative arm for the Division of Water.  GMS is responsible for managing all federal grant awards, executing and managing contracts with environmental partners throughout the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and processing all procurement for DOW.  GMS works closely with other branches within DOW in being effective stewards of state resources, while outlining available funding for program initiatives.

Resource Planning Section
Maggie Lee,​ Administrative Section Supervisor, 502-782-4389
This section is responsible for training and meeting facilitation, and compilation of the strategic operational plan and the agency annual report, monitoring permit issuances and backlog, websites update, quality assurance, and responds to public inquiries.​

​Jason Hurt, Branch Manager, 502-782-6167

The Surface Water Permits Branch primarily issues KPDES permits to control the amount of pollutants that can be discharged to the surface waters of the Commonwealth. It issues operational permits for wastewater and stormwater discharges (KPDES), construction permits for new treatment plants for individual family residences, no discharge permits for land application and closed loop systems (KNDOP), and operational permits for collection systems discharging to a sewer system or wastewater treatment plant owned by another entity (KISOP). Additionally, this branch performs review of all pollution control tax exemption requests and make recommendations to the Department of Revenue.

Industrial Section
Andrew Parrish, Administrative Section Supervisor, 502-782-7034

  • Review KPDES permit applications and use to develop permits for industrial discharges (excluding stormwater only),  all domestic or sanitary wastewater treatment facilities, and all agricultural operations (CAFOs).

  • Coordinate the WLA program for the agency.

  • Review and approve construction and KPDES permits for individual home residences.

  • Review and approve construction and no-discharge (KNDOP) permits for wastewater including industrial, sanitary and agricultural operations (AFOs).

  • Promotion and coordination of regionalization of wastewater treatment facilities.

Permit Support Section
Jerry Milburn, Administrative Section Supervisor,  502-782-7017 ​​

  • Administer KPDES public notice activities, including scheduling and conducting public hearings.

  • Maintain Integrated Compliance Information System (ICIS) computer database used to track KPDES permits.

  • Maintain netDMR (Discharge Monitoring Reports) system used to track compliance by permit holders.

  • Administer KPDES permit fee system.

  • Develop and maintain application forms and other informational documents used in the KPDES program.

  • Assist permittees in application for and compliance with permits.

Stormwater Section
Amy Van Horne, Administrative Section​ Supervisor, 502-782-7118

  • Review KPDES permit applications and use to develop permits for all industrial stormwater discharges, all coal mining facilities, and all non-coal mining facilities (quarries, concrete and asphalt operations).

  • Processes all ownership changes for coal mining facilities.

  • Review applications for coverage under stormwater general permits.

Municipal Section
Bryan Parker, Administrative Section Supervisor, 502-782-5231​​

  • Review and approve KPDES permit applications for all municipalities and stormwater point source discharges (MS4 Phases I and II). This includes all permitting of combined sewer overflows (CSOs) at municipal sewer systems.

  • Review, approve and oversee pretreatment programs for industrial discharges to publicly owned wastewater treatment works.

  • Review and approve Kentucky Inter-System Operating Permits (KISOPs) for the discharge of sewage from local jurisdictions into other municipal systems.

​Vacant ​

The Water Infrastructure Branch consolidates the activities associated with water infrastructure planning, construction, management and funding. The branch is responsible for drinking water and wastewater planning; construction permitting of water and sewer infrastructure; evaluation of management of public water systems, publicly owned wastewater treatment works; and implementation of the technical components of the federal special appropriations grant program of the clean water and drinking water state revolving funds.

Engineering Section
Terry Humphries, P.E., Administrative Section Supervisor, 502-782-6983
The Engineering Section of the Water Infrastructure Branch is responsible for the issuance of construction permits for wastewater and drinking water as authorized under 401 KAR 5:005 and 401 KAR 8:100 respectively. Reviews are conducted to ensure compliance with state and federal regulation, engineering design documents incorporated into regulation (10 State Standards for Water and Wastewater, Drinking Water General Design Criteria) and engineering standards. The Section also assists with the administration of the technical portions of the State Revolving Fund (SRF) loan program and Special Appropriate Grants, including review of contract documents, conducting on-site inspections, and review of pay request and change orders.   

Municipal Planning Section
Russell Neal, Administrative Section Supervisor, 502-782-7026
The Municipal Planning Section of the Water Infrastructure Branch is responsible for review and approval of Regional Facility Plans and Asset Inventory Reports for regional wastewater utilities, as required by 401 KAR 5:006. The section also conducts the managerial and financial aspects of the Sanitary Survey, which is a key component of determining the capacity of a drinking water utility to deliver safe reliable water in accordance with the Safe Drinking Water Act. The section compiles information and provides annual reports to USEPA with regard to public water system capacity. Finally, the section issues findings based on environmental reviews performed for publicly funded infrastructure projects in accordance with the USEPA approved State Environmental Review Process. 

Infrastructure Funding Section
Amber Vaughn, Administrative Section​ Supervisor, 502-782-7121 
The Infrastructure Funding Section of the Water Infrastructure Branch is responsible for co-administering the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund loan programs through Memorandum of Agreement with the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority (KIA). The section processes the necessary paperwork for borrowers to comply with various terms and requirements of the loan program. The section also prepares information to be presented to the KIA Board of Directors in order to gain approval for the water related projects to be funded.​

​Nicholas Reif, Branch Manager, 502-782-2556​

The Water Quality Branch is responsible for monitoring and assessing the water quality of the Commonwealth's streams, rivers, lakes, and wetlands.  The branch develops and reviews water quality standards, classifies surface waters for designated uses (e.g., cold water aquatic habitat and outstanding state resource waters), reports on the state’s water quality in the 305(b) Integrated Report, and creates Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) documents.  Branch staff also serve as scientific advisors for the Division of Water on emerging water quality issues and the review of technical and scientific reports and data.

​Monitoring Section
Robert Johnson, Administrative Section Supervisor, 502-782-6991
The Monitoring Section collects and manages physiochemical and biological data for rivers, streams, and lakes throughout the state. It provides water quality data and reports to inform water quality assessments and public health advisories for fish consumption and water recreation.  

Intensive Survey & Wetlands Section

Jessica Schuster, Administrative Section Supervisor, 502-782-7062
This section collects and manages physiochemical, biological, physical habitat data from waters throughout the Commonwealth, including wetlands.  Data is collected to support the development and track the progress of water quality improvement plans such as section 319 Watershed Plans, Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL) or TMDL Alternatives for 303(d)-listed impairments. Data collected by the section may also be used by other programs within DOW for activities such as water quality standards development or water quality assessments for section 305(b).  The section is also responsible for development of wetland-specific standards and assessment methodology.

TMDL & Program Support Section

Lara Panayotoff, Administrative Section​ Supervisor, 502-782-7033
The Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) and Program Support Section develops TMDLs and coordinates with DOW branches on related water quality restoration actions (e.g. TMDL Alternative Plans).  The section maintains two inter-related data management systems: the Kentucky Water Assessment Data for Environmental Monitoring (K-WADE) which manages water quality monitoring data and the Kentucky Assessment and TMDL Tracking System (KATTS) which manages information on water quality assessment decisions and the actions being taken to improve water quality in the Commonwealth.  It is also responsible for providing technical assistance, data compilation, and analysis to support water quality assessments and the development and review of water quality standards.​

​​Shawn Hokanson, Branch Manager, 502-782-6977, 

The Water Resources Branch is responsible for managing and administering water resources activities of the Commonwealth as they relate to floodplain management, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), Dam Safety, and Clean Water Act Section 401 Water Quality Certifications.  In doing so, the WRB provides technical, administrative, and communication support to over 350 NFIP participating communities in Kentucky and over 1000 regulated activities per year.  The WRB also serves as the technical advisors for the Division of Water on topics related to flood hazard mapping, levees, and compliance with applicable statutes and regulations.

​401 Water Quality Certification Section
Samantha Vogeler, Administrative Section Supervisor, 502-782-6995​

The 401 Water Quality Certification Program of the Division of Water is the Commonwealth’s review and authorization of selected federal license and permits   Any person, firm, or agency (including federal, state, and local government agencies) planning to work in jurisdictional waters of the United States or place dredged or fill material in waters of the United States should contact the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the Division of Water, Water Quality Certification Section to obtain applicable permits.  Federal licenses and permits subject to 401 Water Quality Certification include Clean Water Act 404 permits for discharge of dredged or fill material issued by the USACE, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) hydropower licenses, and Rivers and Harbors Act 9 and 10 permits for activities that have a potential discharge in navigable waters issued by the USACE.  A 401 Water Quality Certification from the Commonwealth of Kentucky also affirms that the discharge will not violate Kentucky's water quality standards. 

Examples of activities that may require a certification from the Division of Water, Water Quality Certification Section include:

• Placement of dredged or fill materials into surface waters and/or wetlands

• Structural fill such as culverts and bridge supports

• Bank stabilization

• Road and utility crossings

• Gravel mining/removal

• In-stream basins

• Dredging, excavation, channel widening, or straightening

• Flooding, excavating, draining and/or filling a wetland

• Bank sloping; stabilization

• Stream channel relocation

• Water diversions

• Divert, obstruct, or change the natural flow or bed of any surface waters and/or wetlands 

• Construct a barrier across a stream, channel, or watercourse that will create a reservoir: dams, weirs, dikes, levees or other similar structures

Dam Safety Section
Glen Alexander, Administrative Section Supervisor, 502-782-6874,
The Dam Safety Section has regulatory authority over the majority of the dams throughout the state with the exception of dams owned by the US Army Corps of Engineers and dams associated with active mining sites. The section is responsible for conducting regular inspections of existing dams, overseeing remediation of deficient dams, permitting dam construction and modification, and working with local officials and dam owners on emergency preparedness. The section is also responsible for overseeing the inventory of dams owned by the Commonwealth and managing the State Owned Dam Repair Program.

Floodplain Management
David Coe, Administrative Section ​Supervisor, 502-782-6296​
The Floodplain Management Section has the primary responsibility for the approval or denial of proposed development and other activities in the floodplain of all streams in the Commonwealth. Typical activities permitted are bridges, culverts, residential and commercial buildings, placement of fill, stream alterations or relocations, and water and wastewater treatment plants and other utility structures.  Permits are issued for proposed actions in floodplains that meet all state floodplain statutes, regulations and standards.  Additionally, the Floodplain Management section ensures that permitted development in floodplains complies with applicable requirements and limitations.  The section works closely with the Division’s Field Office Branch to ensure development in floodplains is conducted in as safe a manner as possible and minimizes future flooding impacts.

​Joanna Ashford, Branch Manager, 502-782-2198

The Watershed Management Branch provides leadership for comprehensive planning and analysis of water quality and quantity, on a watershed basis.  The branch coordinates the Watershed Management Framework, through which watersheds are targeted for planning and implementation. The branch also develops and implements nonpoint source pollution control programs, inventories water sources, issues water withdrawal permits and provides technical support for water management planning, including source water protection. The Watershed Management Branch administers the Water Watch program and provides support to the Watershed Watch program, through which citizens across the state monitor stream and lake conditions.

Nonpoint Source and Basin Team Section
Michaela Lambert, Administrative Section Supervisor, 502-782-5282
The section provides leadership and technical support to the Watershed Management Framework, including the Statewide Watershed Management Framework Steering Committee, seven Basin Teams and sub-watershed task forces throughout the Commonwealth. The section also works to improve widespread public understanding of watersheds; supports citizen involvement in monitoring water bodies by coordinating the Water Watch Program and supports the Watershed Watch organizations.

Water Supply Section
Allan Shingleton, Administrative Section Supervisor, 502-782-6907​
The section provides leadership and technical support for water resource management, especially with regard to water allocations and for integrating water quantity and water quality analyses. This section implements the water supply planning, source water and wellhead protection programs, drought monitoring, water shortage response, and water withdrawal permitting programs; and provides significant support to Water Management Planning, in conjunction with the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority. These programs ensure long-term security for adequate water supplies to the citizens of the Commonwealth, including protecting drinking water sources (Source Water Protection).

Groundwater Section
Adam Smith, Administrative Section Supervisor, 502-782-6453​​
The section implements a comprehensive groundwater program that manages, enhances and protects the groundwater resources of the Commonwealth for present and future generations through regulation, technical assistance and collection of resource information. This section also implements the groundwater protection plans, water well drillers certification and ambient monitoring network programs.

GIS and Data Analysis Section
Jo Blanset, Administrative Section Supervisor, 502-782-6894
The section provides technical support and data analysis, and promotes better decision-making in the Division. Section activities include effectively managing DOW data and databases, improving efficiencies in data acquisition and management, providing and maintaining geospatial data, analyzing Division data, and identifying and developing new tools to improve data accuracy, better communication with the public, and the ability to analyze complex conditions before making a decision. The section has worked to integrate the use of geographic information systems (GIS) into the Division’s workflows. Products include the constantly updated National Hydrography Dataset, Watershed Boundary Dataset, layers, internal and external map viewers and story maps.​​

​Division of Water
300 Sower Boulevard
3rd Floor
Frankfort, KY 40601
Phone: 502-564-3410
Fax: 502-564-4245
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Frankfort, KY 40601

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