North Elkhorn watershed

​​A watershed is an area of land where all of the rainwater that falls drains to the same place.

The North Elkhorn watershed is 95 square mile located in northeast Fayette County and southern Scott County. North Elkhorn Creek flows for almost 25 miles from its headwaters in Fayette County until it meets up with South Elkhorn Creek, just east of Frankfort. Creeks that flow into North Elkhorn include David Fork, Avon Fork, Bryan Station Creek, and Goose Creek.

Its watershed area is mostly rural within Fayette County, with urban land uses in the headwaters in the southeast. Together, agricultural, rural and some residential areas account for most land use within the watershed. Possible sources of pollution from stormwater runoff include dissolved solids, conductivity, E.coli and fecal coliform that may affect the health of North Elkhorn Creek and its tributaries.

Watershed resources

Watershed monitoring in North Elkhorn

Watershed monitoring is an important tool to improve Lexington's water quality. Lexington recently finished a multi-year project to take water quality tests at different stream locations to help determine what pollutants to focus on to improve water quality. Each watershed has its own health report card. 

Parameter Sources Summary of monitoring results
E. coli  Sewage, animal waste, livestock manure Poor
Total Suspended Solids Upland or channel soil erosion; muddy water Very good
Temperature Runoff from excessively hot parking lots or roads; lack of shade typically provided by trees growing along creek banks Very good
Dissolved Oxygen Availability of oxygen for fish and other organisms to breathe Good
pH The presence of too much acidity or too much alkalinity; neutral levels are needed for fish and other organisms Very good
Conductivity Dissolved solids, various salts, organic matter Very poor
Chlorine Water line break, swimming pool discharge Poor
Detergents Sewage, graywater, outdoor washing of vehicles, floor mats, etc.  Very good
Ammonia-Nitrogen Sewage, animal waste, livestock manure Good
Nitrate-Nitrogen Excess fertilizer / manure runoff; too much can promote algae growth Very good
Total Phosphorus Excess fertilizer / manure runoff; too much can promote algae growth Very good
Stream Habitat Places where fish and other organisms can live Poor
Aquatic Bugs / Critters Conditions that support fish and other aquatic life Poor


Projects in North Elkhorn


  1. North Elkhorn Equalization Tank
  2. Eastland Trunk Sewer Replacement
  3. Liberty Road Trunk Sewer Replacement
  4. Greenbriar 2 Pump Station Replacement
  5. Greenbriar Trunk Sewer Replacement
  6. Floyd Drive Area Rehabilitation
  7. Expansion Area 2A Projects


North Elkhorn stormwater projects