The West Hickman Creek Watershed is a predominantly urban watershed in south central Lexington. See the map below for an overview of the watershed boundary and intermittent streams within the watershed. One of the most notable features of this urban watershed is an absence of riparian buffer zones / streamside vegetation. The predominant land use in the watershed is residential which often correlates with limited riparian area.
The watershed also has a high amount of impervious surfaces. Approximately 40% of the watershed is covered in impervious surfaces, which are resistant to groundwater infiltration.
In Lexington's past, Lake Ellerslie (Reservoir #1) in the north of the watershed, was used as a water supply reservoir. This is no longer the case, Kentucky American Water has indicated that Reservoir #1 would only be withdrawn in a case of extreme emergency. Read chapter 3 of the full watershed management plan for more information on this topic.
West Hickman Creek is listed on the Kentucky Division of Water 303(d) list for impairments from nutrients, sewage and siltation. These impairments cause West Hickman Creek to not meet the criteria for warm water aquatic habitat and primary recreational use. With this in mind, LFUCG and Third Rock Consultants worked together in 2012 to assess the West Hickman Watershed as documented in West Hickman Creek Watershed Assessment (September 2012).