Kentucky Groundwater Observation Network Progressing
Progress continues on reestablishing a statewide network of groundwater-level observation wells. The wells in the network will help fulfill KGS’s legislative mandate to collect data needed to assess the quantity and availability of the state’s groundwater resources. Samples will also be periodically collected and analyzed from the network wells to help provide baseline information about groundwater quality in the aquifers being monitored.
Glynn Beck, of the Water Resources Section, oversaw the installation of four new network observation wells in the Jackson Purchase. KGS contracted with Gus Well Drilling Inc. to install the four monitoring wells. Two wells were installed in Calloway County and two in Hickman County. The Calloway County wells are located at the Murray State University Hutson School of Agriculture West Research Farm. One well is completed in the Lower Wilcox aquifer and the other is completed in the McNairy aquifer. The Hickman County wells are on private property in Clinton owned by the Naranjo family. One well is completed in the Upper Claiborne aquifer and the other in the Middle Claiborne aquifer. Continuous groundwater-elevation data have been collected at each site since early November 2015.
At present, 10 wells are being monitored as part of the observation network, including the four Jackson Purchase wells listed above. The other wells are one observation well completed in the McNairy aquifer near Benton in Marshall County, one observation well at the KGS Henderson Office completed in a shallow confined alluvial aquifer, one well completed in fractured-karstic limestone in Mammoth Cave National Park, one well completed in fractured-karstic limestone in Hardin County, and two wells completed in fractured-karstic limestone in Scott County. Several additional wells are undergoing preliminary evaluations, including video and gamma-ray borehole logging, hydraulic tests (slug or drawdown-recovery tests), and water-level monitoring. One well was completed in karstic limestone in Logan County, two wells were completed in fractured sandstone in Breathitt County, and one well was completed in fractured sandstone in Lawrence County.
Other unused wells are being sought in certain parts of the state, in order to establish 15 observation wells for the network by early 2017. A website is being created to display hydrographs of water-level measurements obtained from each network observation well.