Skip to main navigation Skip to main content

The Groundwater Section responds to requests for technical assistance and information related to groundwater resources throughout Kentucky.  Assistance is often in support of our Field Operations Branch (Regional Offices) and other government agencies, but is available to the general public and private sector.  In addition, the Groundwater Section can provide informed advice and recommendations, and may assist with on-site evaluations when warranted.

Water Wells and Springs 
          -  Groundwater database search and record review
          - Groundwater quality and chemistry related questions and concerns
          - Evaluation of water well construction and completion
Sinkhole mitigation guidance and evaluation
Groundwater sensitivity and vulnerability to contamination
On-site surveys and evaluations, when warranted
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 please contact the Division of Water Regional Offices.  The Regional Offices initiate incident responses and investigations to determine compliance with state and federal regulations.  If the Regional Office determines that additional groundwater-related expertise is necessary, then they will refer the incident to the Groundwater Section.  

To request information or data related to groundwater in Kentucky, please call the Division of Water at (502) 564-3410, and ask to speak with the Groundwater Section Supervisor about your specific topic of interest.  Another great resource for groundwater-related information and data is the Kentucky Geological Survey, which maintains Kentucky’s Groundwater Repository.