One of the environmental problems we have in the city of Springfield, MO is sinkholes and water quality. Since I have moved here in the year 2000, I have seen several houses sink into the ground by sinkholes. A sinkhole is a depression in the earth's surface with subsurface drainage, where water has dissolved out a drainage network through the rock, and entry points for water into spring systems. Soil, organic debris, and sometimes pollutants move down through sinkholes during rainstorms. These materials are transported through underground streams, and finally resurfacing at springs. To trace the movement of underground water, a harmless dye (such as fluorescein) is poured into water flowing into a sinkhole. Charcoal packets placed at springs can remove some of the dye from the water. If the dye is detected, then that sinkhole is one of the sources for that spring. The process is simple and direct. A sinkhole relates to an underground stream in much the same way a surface gully relates to a surface stream. To protect the quality of water in surface streams, we must protect the quality of water in gullies. Similarly, if we are to protect the quality of water in underground streams and springs, we must protect the quality of water entering sinkholes. The causes of the sinkholes and water quality is due to humans filling sink holes and building on top of them, not maintaining their wastewater systems and using too much as well as wasteful use by excessive watering.
Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Division of Geology and Land Survey, http://www.dnr.mo.gov/geology/geosrv/geores/sinkhole_formation.htm
Waltham Tony, Bell, Frederic Gladstone, Culshaw, M. G. Sinkholes and subsidence, ISBN: 3-540-20725-2, springeronline.com, www.praxis-publishing.co.uk.