Monitoring and Evaluating the Influences of Class V Injection Wells on Urban Karst Hydrology

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Masters Theses & Specialist Projects


The response of a karst aquifer to storm events is often faster and more severe than that of a non-karst aquifer. This distinction is often problematic for planners and municipalities, because karst flooding does not typically occur along perennial water courses; thus, traditional flood management strategies are usually ineffective. The City of Bowling Green (CoBG), Kentucky is a representative example of an area plagued by karst flooding. The CoBG, is an urban karst area (UKA), that uses Class V Injection Wells to lessen the severity of flooding. The overall effectiveness, siting, and flooding impact of Injection Wells in UKA’s is lacking; their influence on groundwater is evident from decades of recurring problems in the form of flooding and groundwater contamination. This research examined Class V Injection Wells in the CoBG to determine how Injection Well siting, design, and performance influence urban karst hydrology. The study used high-resolution monitoring, as well as hydrologic modeling, to evaluate Injection Well and spring responses during storm and baseflow conditions. In evaluating the properties of the karst aquifer and the influences from the surrounding environment, a relationship was established between precipitation events, the drainage capacity of the Injection Wells, and the underlying karst system. Ultimately, the results from this research could be used to make sound data-driven policy recommendations and to inform stormwater management in UKAs.

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