Printed from:

Welcome to Columbia Magazine  

Water Recreation Tips from Public Health, Division of Water

By Susan Dunlap

Frankfort, KY - With summer approaching, the Kentucky Division of Water (DOW) and the Kentucky Department for Public Health's (KDPH) Environmental Public Health Tracking Program (EPHT) offer these safety tips to help Kentuckians enjoy the many rivers, lakes and creeks in which to boat, fish, swim, canoe or otherwise enjoy our abundant water resources.

Despite many water quality improvements, there is the potential for human health risks in any body of water. By applying common sense, risks of experiencing water-derived health issues can be greatly decreased.

DOW and DPH have these recommendations for the public:

  • Avoid ingesting or inhaling the water.
  • Thoroughly clean hands and other areas that have come in contact with the water.
  • Avoid allowing open wounds to have direct contact with the water.
  • Avoid areas where swimming or harmful algal bloom (HAB) advisories have been issued.
  • Avoid water with obvious odors or surface scums.
  • Avoid getting in water after heavy rainfall, especially in dense residential, urban and agricultural areas.
  • Avoid areas below wastewater treatment facility outfalls, animal feedlots, straight pipes or other obvious sources of pollution.
  • Restrict pets and livestock from drinking the water if a bright green or blue-green surface scum is present.
More information concerning the quality of Kentucky's water resources such as advisories may be found here:

If you experience symptoms, such as gastro-intestinal upset or rash, after recreation in natural waters, such as streams, rivers or lakes, consult your physician or call your local health department.

This story was posted on 2021-05-29 07:43:04
Printable: this page is now automatically formatted for printing.
Have comments or corrections for this story? Use our contact form and let us know.


Quick Links to Popular Features

Looking for a story or picture?
Try our Photo Archive or our Stories Archive for all the information that's appeared on


Contact us: Columbia Magazine and are published by D'Zine, Ltd., PO Box 906, Columbia, KY 42728.
Phone: 270.403.0017

Please use our contact page, or send questions about technical issues with this site to All logos and trademarks used on this site are property of their respective owners. All comments remain the property and responsibility of their posters, all articles and photos remain the property of their creators, and all the rest is copyright 1995-Present by Columbia! Magazine and D'Zine, Ltd. Privacy policy: use of this site requires no sharing of information. Voluntarily shared information may be published and made available to the public on this site and/or stored electronically. Anonymous submissions will be subject to additional verification. Cookies are not required to use our site. However, if you have cookies enabled in your web browser, some of our advertisers may use cookies for interest-based advertising across multiple domains. For more information about third-party advertising, visit the NAI web privacy site.