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Energy and Environment Cabinet

Division of Water

Division of Water
Groundwater Protection

Preventing groundwater pollution is every Kentuckian's concern. The Groundwater Protection Plan regulation 401 KAR 5:037 was promulgated in 1994 by the Division of Water to ensure protection for Kentucky's groundwater resources.

Groundwater recharge provides water to our streams, lakes, ponds, rivers and wetlands. Even though your community may not use groundwater for drinking water, its activities may pollute drinking water for those who live outside the community. The groundwater beneath the homes in your community may travel great distances, eventually surfacing at springs or wells being used as someone's drinking water source.

At least one-half of Kentucky's aquifers occur in karst regions (land areas overlying carbonate bedrock consisting of bowl-like depression with few or no surface streams containing sinkholes, caves, springs, sinking stream, etc.). Groundwater in karst areas is highly susceptible to pollution. People living in these regions must be especially careful that their activities do not pollute grounwater. In karst regions, the surface water quickly becomes groundwater when surface runoff flows into sinkholes, surface streams disappears suddenly into the ground, or pools of standing water infiltrates quickly underground.

Groundwater protection can be achieved through education, compliance with the regulatory requirements of the Groundwater Protection Plan Program (401 KAR 5:037) and community planning via the Wellhead Protection Program