In cooperation with the city of Louisville, Ky., the U. S. Geological Survey made a detailed investigation during the period February 1945 to March 1947 of the ground-water resources of a 3-square-mile area along the Ohio River north-east of Louisville. Test drilling shows that the principal aquifer consists of about 80 feet of glacial-outwash sands and gravels lying in an old river channel which was cut into rocks of Ordovician, Silurian, and Devonian age.
The total ground-water storage in the area is estimated as 7 billion gallons. The ground-water levels are affected by changes in river elevation, by rainfall, and by the effects of pumping in the downtown part of Louisville 3 miles to the southwest. In the northeastern part of the area the flow of ground water, as defined by contour maps, is toward the river, and in the southwestern part of the area it is from the river toward the downtown area of overpumping.
Ground water in the area has an average temperature of 56° F. The water, which is moderately hard, is suitable for domestic and industrial uses.
Analysis of a pumping test made during the investigation proves that infiltration supplies can be developed. Studies to determine the degree of connection between the river and aquifer were made on the basis of chemical analyses, sections showing temperature distribution in the aquifer during the pumping test, shapes of water-level profiles in the test area, and shapes of time-drawdown curves for a number of observation wells. Quantitative studies to evaluate the hydrologic constants of the aquifer were made by both graphical and mathematical methods. The transmissibility was determined as 121,000 gpd/ft in the test area; the distance to the line source, 400 feet; and the coefficient of storage, 0.0003. A comparison of river-level fluctuations and water-level fluctuations in observation wells shows that conditions along the 6.4-mile reach of river are not greatly different from those at the site of the pumping test.
It is estimated that under adverse temperature and river-stage conditions infiltration supplies could be developed to the extent of 280 million gpd in the entire 6.4-mile reach investigated; at average river-water temperature (59° F) about 400 million gpd could be developed. Diagrams were drawn showing the estimated yield of wells of different radii, at various distances from the river, and at various spacings. In making the computations allowance was made for screen losses, dewatering of the aquifer, partial penetration of wells, location wells, eccentricity of large wells, and interference among wells.