Tuesday, September 10, 2024
1:30 PM - 2:00 PM
Location Name
Kentucky's Nutrient and Energy Optimization for Clean Water Facilities
Clean Water Technology

Starting in 2024, some Kentucky Pollution Discharge Elimination System (KPDES) permits for clean water facilities will require a nutrient optimization study during their 5-year permit cycle. Kentucky has started this requirement to address the nutrient loading from Kentucky that reaches the Gulf of Mexico and results in the Hypoxic Zone. Kentucky Division of Water has developed a program to help these facilities that will provide technical assistance and may help them complete the nutrient optimization study. The program is based on lessons learned from a pilot program that was conducted in 2015-2018 that included 9 facilities from around the state. Programs like this have been going on in other states like Tennessee and Minnesota for many years. In addition to these permitting changes, education and outreach on nutrient topics is being offered for water and clean water operators. Kentucky and Tennessee are two of the twelve states and five federal agencies that work together to reduce nutrients that are causing or contributing to the Gulf of Mexico Hypoxic Zone. Each state has developed a strategy to outline how they will address the sources of nutrients that they have. These sources of nutrients are diverse, and Kentucky has developed a multi-pronged approach to reduce their impact both locally and in the Gulf. Nutrient education and reduction activities are also being developed for municipal stormwater systems, agriculture and other sources of nonpoint source pollution. As an additional tool for facilities, an energy audit will be available at no charge. Combining the energy audit with the nutrient optimization study will provide information to help them make decisions about reducing nutrients in their effluent and how those changes may decrease their energy bills. The energy audit will also help identify ways a facility can be more resilient during emergency situations, like a switch for hooking up a generator or alternative energy sources like solar.