Kentucky, the Bluegrass State, is home to an array of industries that impact the water supplies throughout the state. Aptly, the Kentucky River flows through the state and provides many Kentuckians their potable water after it has been treated.
The Kentucky River flows out of the Ohio River. The Ohio River is also a direct source of water for some Kentucky residents. Between these two resources, surface water makes up that vast majority of water sources in this state.
Like most water supplies, especially those that are sourced from lakes and rivers, the water in Kentucky is often considered hard water. Hard water forms as natural minerals are dissolved into the water as it travels from source to tap. It can also be influenced by the chemicals used to make your drinking water safe.
An abundant supply of natural resources should keep Kentucky residents supplied with water for a long time to come. However, problems can still arise that require addressing by the local water authority and may be benefited by some at-home treatment.
Common Water Problems by City
Each city faces its own challenges when it comes to the cleanliness of its water supply. Different contaminants require a unique method of treatment and those treatments can also cause other common problems like hard water.
Big Barren River via Barren River Reservoir
Louisville residents can relax knowing their water is relatively clean. Water is pulled from the vast Ohio River into many water treatment facilities that serve the city and surrounding area.
Hard water is the most common problem dealt with by those using public water in Louisville. This condition occurs because of dissolved natural minerals and due to the chemical treatments used to ensure the water complies with federal safety levels.
The safety of hard water is not an issue, as no known health problems arise from consuming it. However, many people complain of dry skin or an itchy scalp after bathing in water considered to be hard.
Furthermore, hard water can cause issues around the home. Clogged or slow taps caused by a buildup of limescale are common. Advanced issues with hard water can impact the efficiency of appliances and result in plumbing problems.
Lexington, Kentucky sources its water from its namesake river - the Kentucky River. The Kentucky River is a tributary of the large Ohio River and experiences many of the same contaminants as it travels through different landscapes.
Residents of Lexington often experience hard water. Hard water is clean and safe to consume, yet can cause some problems at homes or businesses that may need to be addressed individually.
Soap scum is a common byproduct of hard water as soaps and detergents combine with limescale to make a white film that is difficult to clean. White scale is a similar condition and can lead to cloudy glassware and stains on metallic finishes.
There are treatments for hard water that can be applied during the treatment process, however, most municipalities find them ineffective. Fortunately, residents and business owners have options for treatment at the customer level, which is often seen as being more impactful.
The main water source for Bowling Green serves multiple purposes. Obviously, the Barren Reservoir provides most of the potable water for area residents. It also serves as protection from major flooding as it is designated a flood-control lake that keeps water from rushing downriver into many large communities.
The multiple surface water sources are pulled into treatment facilities that make the water safe for consumption with the appropriate chemical treatments. The treatments actually add to the naturally occurring condition known as hard water.
Hard water is safe to consume but can cause some issues with dry skin and itchy, flaky scalps after bathing. Hard water also causes a buildup of limescale, which can cause unsightly staining and slow water pipes.