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​The Groundwater Section responds to requests for technical assistance concerning groundwater resources throughout Kentucky.  The requests can 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.

  • Complaint Investigation and Evaluation
    • Wells
    • Springs
    • Sinkholes
  • Groundwater Monitoring
  • Borehole Video Logging
  • Hazardous Material Spill Response
  • Septic System Evaluation (relative to Groundwater Quality)
  • Other Field Activities

Because more than half of Kentucky is underlain by karst, the Groundwater Section is vitally interested in the environmental issues unique to this type of geology. Ongoing studies focus on mapping the extent of karst basins through dye tracing [3.2 MB] as well as characterizing groundwater quality.

The Division of Water (DOW) utilizes an online dye-trace notification system that allows researchers to report dye injections for groundwater tracing. This tool streamlines the reporting process, increase accuracy and information sharing, and allows researchers to easily identify and coordinate with the dye trace efforts of other professionals. 

The dye-trace notification system is voluntary as the Commonwealth of Kentucky does not regulate or require permits for tracer testing. However, it is unlawful to discolor the waters of the Commonwealth per 401 KAR 10:031, Section 2. Although small amounts of environmentally safe dyes are typically used in properly conducted traces, concerned citizens may occasionally observe and report discolored waters. In order to avoid unnecessary complaint investigations by DOW or other state and local agencies, and to inform the caller that the tracer test is temporary and harmless, proposed dye tests should be reported to DOW. Another advantage of this tool is that users can access a table displaying information on all tracer tests conducted in the last 30 days. This information includes the notification number, counties affected, water bodies affected, dye(s) used, injection date and expected monitoring period. The information does not include the investigator’s contact information. This prior notification may prevent potential cross-contamination of existing groundwater studies. If necessary, individual users may request contact information for other investigators listed on the Previous Notifications table.

Access to the notification system requires the user to set up an account at the website listed below. This account is password protected and requires the submittal of basic information in the form of a User Profile. Once your account is set up, dye trace notifications may be submitted at any time.

Please share this information with anyone you know in Kentucky who conducts tracer tests. If investigators do not have internet access they can still submit dye-trace notifications via fax or telephone that will be entered into the system by DOW personnel.

If you have questions or concerns, or experience any problems with the system, please contact Rob Blair at (502)782-6893 or via email.

Learn more about karst.

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.