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Docks on Herrington Lake

In all three counties there are ordinances for constructing and repairing floating structures on the waters of Herrington Lake.  An ordinance is a law adopted and enforced by a municipality. These ordinances include materials allowed to be used, the disposal of old materials and building regulations.

A permit is required to construct, improve or make additions to any floating structure on the water and leading to the water. This includes walkways, docks,  floats, decks, floating houses and marinas.  Permit applications are available at the County Judge Executive’s office. The permits are relatively inexpensive and help document your structure and make sure it complies with safety standards.


Any foam that is not factory encapsulated, IS NOT ALLOWED on the water (there may be other options or treatments available and those will be assessed on a case by case basis).   Open foam, steel barrels and plastic barrels are not allowed as floats to support a structure.  Existing docks with these materials are accepted.  If an existing dock currently in the water and made with these materials is moved on the lake, it is acceptable to leave the materials as long as the dock is not removed from the water.  If portions of the dock are to be re-built then those portions must be brought up to the new standard.  This would not include typical maintenance.  Disposal of foam is the owner’s responsibility.  HLCL dumpsters are available at Kings Mill, Midlake and Sunset Marinas, and may be used to dispose of old foam.  Cutting open foam loose in the water is not acceptable. 

These ordinances are enforced by the County Building Inspection Program Officials. There are penalties for not complying with these regulations.  Folks who do not wish to comply are reported to the County Attorney and the case is handled through that office and court.   

Birds, turtles and fish mistake the tiny foam nodules for fish eggs. The foam can clog their intestines and cause a variety of problems.  Recently, a land-based turtle rescued in a Florida waterway was unable to submerge due to the amount of Styrofoam trapped in its body, making it permanently buoyant.

Plastic and styrofoam pose an additional threat. They act as a transport medium for toxic chemicals. Many of these pellets contain polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). The chemicals were either absorbed from ambient water or used in the manufacture of plasticizers prior to the 1970s.

The regulations have been adopted to help beautify Herrington Lake and preserve wildlife.  Anyone around the lake is well aware of the amount of floating debris in early spring .  Anything we can do to help clean this environment will help preserve this waterway for the future.


If you enjoy the Lake please do your part to help preserve it!

About Your Dock


Lake levels fluctuate considerably throughout the year depending on how much rainfall occurs in the watershed, how much water Kentucky Utilities uses to run the hydroelectric turbines (yes they still work), and other water losses due to evaporation and withdrawals by the City of Danville for drinking water. Kentucky Utilities tries to maintain the water level at about 740 feet above sea level during the summer and 725 feet in the winter. Their ability to control water levels is limited because only Mother Nature can add water to the lake and the turbines at full operation can only drop the lake by slightly more than a foot per day. To check the lake level call 859.748.4685.

Herrington Lake can rise up to 15 feet in one day when heavy rainfall occurs in the Dix River watershed, even with little or no rain on your dock. Fluctuations in water levels wreak havoc with docks left unattended. Boat docks remain the largest contributor to the pollution of Herrington Lake. Those that are not properly maintained or adjusted due to changing lake levels break apart and float off to create litter and unsafe boating conditions. An indication of the size of the problem is illustrated by the fact that during 2004 with financial assistance from Bluegrass PRIDE, HLCL removed 41 derelict docks from the lake.

HLCL strongly recommends that all dock owners make arrangements to have their

docks adjusted when they are unable to do so to prevent docks from floundering on

rocks when water levels recede or from floating away with rapid water level

increases. Many people on the lake offer dock monitoring, adjusting, repair, and

construction services. If you need help with protecting or maintaining your dock

there are several ways to find people who can help, including:

  • Ask your neighbors who they would recommend

  • Ask HLCL members (see League Officers section on this web site)

  • Contact Marina operators on the Lake for advice.

Contact one of the people listed below who offer these services:

 Darwin Holloway                                     859-963-8615

 Davey Neal                                               859-548-2091

 Rebel Rock Servicing & Removal          502-269-0723

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