About the South Elkhorn watershed


A watershed is an area of land where all of the rainwater that falls on it drains to the same place. Lexington has seven urban and two rural watersheds. South Elkhorn is located in the southwest part of Fayette County.

Watershed monitoring in South Elkhorn 

Watershed monitoring is an important tool to improve Lexington's water quality. Currently, Lexington is performing water quality tests at different stream locations to help determine what pollutants to focus on to improve water quality. This is a multi-year project that will go from watershed to watershed. The results for South Elkhorn include the parameter (the pollutant being measured); sources (where that pollutant comes from) and the monitoring results tell us the pollutants we need to work on most. In South Elkhorn, for example, we're doing a good job keeping soap and fertilizer out of our waterways, but we need to make sure we're also picking up pet waste on walks and in yards. 

E. Coli Sewage, animal waste, livestock manure Very 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

Very 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 Poor
Chlorine Water line break, swimming pool discharge

Very good


Sewage, graywater, outdoor washing of vehicles, floor mats, etc.

Very good


Sewage, animal waste, livestock manure

Very good

Nitrate-Nitrogen Excess fertilizer / manure runoff; too much can promote algae growth Poor
Total Phosphorus Excess fertilizer / manure runoff; too much can promote algae growth Good
Stream Habitat Places where fish and other organisms can live Poor
Aquatic Bugs / Critters Conditions that support fish and other aquatic life Fair


Sanitary Sewer projects


  1. Pump at South Elkhorn PS
  2. Mint Lane Trunk
  3. Mint Lane Pump Station Upgrades