Drought & Heat Causing Algae on Some Kentucky Rivers

By: Tamara Evans Email
By: Tamara Evans Email

Some of Kentucky's rivers are starting to appear a little different.
The high temperatures this summer have led to many of the rivers being covered with algae and residents are wondering how this is impacting their drinking water.

The Green River has never looked so green before!

"I was born over here but I've never seen nothing like it," says Morgantown resident, David Hunt.

David Hunt has a place along the Green River.

"That's just my fishing shack," Hunt says.

Hunt says the river looking this green is something he and other people aren't used to.

"Some of them said the river is turning over, but I don't think so," says Hunt.

Janice Cockerell also lives along the Green River.

"I'm originally from Butler County. Been here all my life," says Cockerell.

She says you can't miss what's taking over the river when you pass by.

"I noticed it about a week ago when I got up and looked down and noticed the green on it," says Cockerell.

What's happened is the combination of the extreme heat and the drought this summer has deprived many Kentucky rivers from oxygen and current. When this happens a thin film of algae develops on top.

"It looks awful out there," says Cockerell.

Rest assure, although the water looks like this it is still safe to drink. Water treatment plants are refining their chemicals to treat the new growth, making your water safe.

While it shouldn't be negatively affecting you in any way, Cockerell says the algae is impacting the number of boaters and fisherman she usually sees out on the water.

"It's usually alot of boats, especially in late afternoon, but I haven't
heard as many boats go up," says Cockerell.

That includes David Hunt, who says he hasn't been doing as much fishing by his place on the river since seeing what's floating on the water.

"I don't care much about it after I seen this," says Hunt.

Warren County Water District serves residents in Butler County and assure us that they are treating the water with activated carbon to eliminate that musty taste and odor that some people have complained of.

Officials with the the state's Division of Water say rain and cooler weather will solve this problem.

Until then, placing your water in a refrigerator should eliminate any taste and odor.


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