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Groundwater levels in the Louisville Area

Record Groundwater Levels in the Louisville Area

Record high groundwater levels have been measured recently for portions of the alluvial aquifer beneath Louisville, Kentucky. In March 2012, a team of scientists from the Kentucky Water Science Center of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) measured the depth to water in 48 groundwater observation wells to ascertain the current elevation of the water table in the alluvial deposits beneath Louisville. New high water levels were recorded for 23 of the 48 wells.

Recent above average annual precipitation amounts for the Louisville metro area have contributed to these record groundwater levels. But while some areas of the aquifer are at record levels, the water table in the downtown area remains near average elevation due in part to the pumping of ground water for the heating and cooling of some buildings. Should groundwater levels continue to rise or pumping in the downtown area decreases, inundation of man-made structures can cause significant structural settlement problems, damage to foundations and basements, and disruption of utility services such as gas, electric, water, sewer, and communications.

Water-level data have been collected in the alluvial aquifer at Louisville by the USGS since 1943. Interpretations of these data are published periodically to update the record and help manage this groundwater resource.

Additional information can be obtained from Mike Unthank, KY WSC, (phone) 502-493-1932, (email)

map of the monioting wells in downtown Louisville

(Click image above for larger map) [PDF file - ~34MB]

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Page Last Modified: Thursday, April 25, 2013 11:59 AM