Stream Maintenance

KDOW Guidelines for One-step Removal of Stream Flow Obstructions

This guidance provides descriptions of stream obstruction conditions and one-step removal practices which involve removing materials before placing them outside of the channel and floodplain. Materials should never be stockpiled in the stream channel, stream banks or floodplain.

Link to Guidelines for One-Step Removal of Stream Flow Obstructions_May2016.docx (



Stream Maintenance – Guidelines for Stream Obstruction Removal – FAQ 2017

October 2017

This 8-page Frequently Asked Questions developed by the KDOW is a must read.  Log jams, fallen trees, sediment (silt, sand and/or gravel), debris, and other materials can build up and obstruct flow in ditches, streams, culverts, and under bridges during and after periods of heavy rainfall.  These obstructions may create an increased risk of flooding, property and infrastructure damage, and result in erosion and increased sedimentation.  Removing stream obstructions is a temporary solution; streams naturally deposit sediment and form meanders during periods of high flow.

Natural debris and sediment play important roles in aquatic ecosystems.  If done improperly or excessively, removing stream obstructions may have negative impacts on-site, upstream, and downstream of where the obstructions are being removed.  The answers provided in this FAQ outline common best practices for stream obstruction removal.

Link to:  Stream Maintenance- Guidelines for Stream Obstruction Removal – FAQ 2017.



KDOW Publishes New Tool to Help Landowners Understand Stream Obstruction Removal

September 2017

We all live downstream.  This means that the usability of the water available to us is determined by our upstream neighbors.  Certain activities in and around streams require permits, especially if there is an impact to a wetland, floodplain, or the water quality of a given area.  However, if you follow some simple guidelines and best practices, you may work in streams without obtaining a permit from the Kentucky Division of Water or the US Army Corps of Engineers.

In September 2017, the Kentucky Division of water published a new web resource that details some of the commonly occurring situations where you can work in the stream without obtaining a permit.  The site includes a “Guidelines for Stream Obstruction Removal” brochure, a FAQ sheet, and links to mapping tools that can help you determine if your stream has any special requirements.  To learn more check out the website.