When you hear people talk about karst topography as it relates to groundwater quality all you have to do is look at the fractures in the carbonate limestone bedrock forming direct conduits from the surface to the aquifers below. Here we’ve highlighted a karst cross-section photo to illustrate how many paths surface water can follow on its way to the groundwater. In this particular location there is almost no surface soil or organic matter to help filter out contaminants. The point to be made is that there is serious risk of groundwater contamination in areas where karst bedrock is present. Once the aquifers are tainted, regardless of the source of contamination, they remain that way for all of us to share.
To learn more about the karst bedrock throughout the state view the UW Extension factsheet below.