Environment

The Kentucky Division of Water has unveiled a massive Water Health Portal to share information about the health of the commonwealth’s waterways with the public.

The recently launched portal was created after legislation passed the General Assembly in 2013, tasking the DOW with presenting the information included in the department’s biennial report to Congress in a more user-friendly format.

Now, you can zoom in on any waterway in the commonwealth and see whether it supports aquatic life, is safe to swim in, or is on a “pollution diet.”

Jefferson County is a sea of red, indicating that the area’s streams are not healthy. The Middle Fork of the Beargrass Creek, where many swim and wade in Cherokee Park, is not healthy for swimming. But on the flipside, that section of Beargrass Creek is still able to support aquatic life. And according to the map, the stretch of the Ohio River upriver from the I-65 bridge is both safe for swimming and aquatic life.

Check out the map here on a computer; the site won’t work on mobile phones.

Erica Peterson is WFPL's Director of News and Programming.