KWRRI Research Reports


The karst aquifer underlying the Mammoth Cave area supports a unique and diverse cave aquatic ecosystem as well as providing the principal source of drinking water for many local residents of the region. This unique and fragile ecosystem is surrounded by one of the most intensively used agricultural areas in the Commonwealth with more than 80% of the surrounding region used in beef, dairy, burley tobacco and alfalfa production. Agricultural practices resulting in run-off of pollutants into the aquifer via sinkholes and sinking streams have a pronounced impact on an important drinking water source and on the cave ecosystem. The purpose of this project was to determine if applying biofiltered effluent on fields was having a deliterious effect on Buck Creek. Based on the results, there is impact but not impairment.

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