When groundwater is contained in karst areas, successful cleanup is very difficult. Because large openings in the subsurface – like caves and conduits – are often part of a karst aquifer, groundwater can travel long distances very rapidly with being filtered through soil or rock. Contaminants can remain in the water supply at distant locations. Volatile compounds can collect in underground streams and migrate upward into homes and schools.
Special techniques must be applied to contain and remove contaminants in the water, soil, and rock of karst regions. The KWI is working to advance our basic understanding of the methods to clean up contamination of karst areas.