Geary Schindel

Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Nicholas C. Crawford, Ronald R. Dilimarter, Noland E. Fields

Degree Program

Department of Geography and Geology

Degree Type

Master of Science


Biological and chemical analysis of water samples, collected from surface and subsurface streams was preformed to determine the quantity and biologic sources of enteric contamination in the Double Springs Groundwater Basin, an urban karstified carbonate aquifer under Bowling Green, Kentucky. Major flow paths, drainage basin boundaries and geologic/hydrologic relationships were identified for the basin. Analysis of biologic contaminates using fecal coliform /fecal streptococcus counts and ratios were conducted for baseflow and storm events and related to the Double Springs hydrographs. Analysis was also conducted to determine the source of sulfides responsible for the growth of sulfur fixing bacteria in the Overflow Spring resurgence.

Research findings revealed that enteric contamination concentrations were below maximum acceptable levels during baseflow condition throughout the basin. During high discharge events, bacteria levels increased and exceeded acceptable levels by 12 to 30 times. Waste was determined to be animal or human in origin depending on storm event, intensity of rain, time of year and time between events. Bacteria counts from rural sources were insignificant and were exceeded by urban bacteria counts by 1000 times. It was determined that an urban environment can have a large impact on biologic water quality in karstified aquifers. The source of sulfides in the basin was determined to be caused by migration of high sulfate water from a lower confined aquifer.


Earth Sciences | Environmental Sciences | Geology | Hydrology | Physical Sciences and Mathematics | Speleology