Flow through the Mammoth Cave Karst aquifer can be very rapid, on the order of 1000's to 10,000's of feet per day. Contaminants entering the karst aquifer can thus be rapidly transported, unfiltered through the conduit system. The karst aquifer is very dynamic, that is, it responds nearly instantaneously to rainfall.
Aquifer stage can rise 10's of feet in a matter of hours, with numerous records showing stage rises of over 100 feet over the course of one day. Also, chemical and bacteriological properties of the groundwater can change dramatically following rainfall events.