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Energy and Environment Cabinet

Division of Water

Division of Water
Technical Services

The Groundwater Section responds to requests for technical assistance concerning groundwater resources throughout Kentucky.  The requests originate from the general public and private sectors, the regulated community, public water suppliers, and various government agencies.  Some of these issues can be resolved over the telephone, while others require site visits and full-scale investigations

The Groundwater Section has a variety of specialized monitoring equipment available for use in investigations.  This includes, low flow sampling pumps, acoustical water level meters, well tapes, a portable fluorometer, pressure transducers, data recorders, field meters, portable water storage tanks for dye trace studies, generators for operating equipment in isolated areas, stream flow meters and other field equipment. The section has a down-hole camera that it uses to evaluate well problems, verify well construction, and to evaluate other situations requiring direct observations in areas inaccessible to personnel.   The Section has two portable incubators and associated accessories for conducting and analyzing bacteriological samples in the field.  
The Section provides assessment, analysis and field investigations for state emergency response to hazardous materials spills, spring and wellhead protection area delineation, water supply regulation, sinkhole evaluation, and nonpoint source pollution studies. Personnel expertise exists in karst groundwater-tracer investigations, and assisting county health departments in testing and identifying failing septic systems. 

Since 1996, section personnel have collaborated in a cooperative program with the Kentucky Geological Survey to compile and publish maps of karst and non-karst areas on a 1:100,000 scale. This series of innovative maps show karst and non-karst areas based on outcrop of soluble rocks, major identified stream sinks and springs, traced groundwater flow routes, karst drainage basins, intermittent karst lakes and sources of referenced data.

The Section maintains a clearinghouse for dye-trace notifications.  This service helps to avoid cross-contamination of tracer tests within Kentucky and provides timely information to concerned citizens who may report the occasional dye-discoloration of surface waters. 
Section personnel also conduct limited focused groundwater studies. These studies are conducted in a similar manner to the main program so data are compatible and comparable across the studies. Most of the studies concentrate on groundwater quality in a particular area or they address a particular concern.

Ambient Groundwater Monitoring Program
The Ambient Groundwater Monitoring Network is designed to characterize baseline geochemistry and ambient groundwater quality conditions throughout the state.  Sites are selected to represent all physiographic regions, and major river basins.  These sites consist of wells and springs used for public and domestic water sources, unregulated public access springs (or road-side springs), wells and springs used for agricultural purposes, and wells and springs which represent pristine or outstanding resource waters.  Groundwater samples from these sites are analyzed for general water chemistry.  Contact us if you have a site that you would like to see included in the groundwater monitoring network

Well Drillers Certification Program
The Well Drillers' Certification Program oversees the certification of water well and monitoring well drillers licensed to drill wells in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.   The Section maintains a current directory of certified water well and monitoring well drillers, publishes the Kentucky Driller Quarterly, a quarterly newsletter, and assists the public and the drilling community with issues involving well installation and construction, and groundwater quality and quantity.

Groundwater Protection Plan Program
The Groundwater Protection Plan Program assists the public and the regulatory community with developing groundwater protection plans to protect the groundwater from specific activities that are conducted on a day to day basis.  The program assists with the development of best management practices that can be put in place to ensure that the groundwater is protected from activities that have the potential to release pollutants to the environment
Requesting Technical Assistance or Filing a Complaint
To request technical assistance or to file an environmental complaint simply contact the Division of Water (DOW) at 502-564-3410 and inform the operator that you wish to report a concern or complaint. Please be prepared to explain the nature of the problem and to provide the location of where the problem is occurring, including the directions to the site. You do not have to provide your name; however, if you wish DOW to either contact you during the investigation or provide you with the results of the investigation, you must leave your name and contact information.
Problems may also be reported at any of the DOW's regional offices.


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