Abstract Disposal of wastes on the surface of the ground and underground is an increasing practice. Since a very substantial portion of the world's water supplies are extracted from wells, it is important that these sources of supply be protected. This paper presents criteria for the evaluation of levels of underground pollution and analytical methods on the rate of travel of underground pollution. The analytical methods are significant in that underground fluid transport equations are solved using new numerical and computer techniques which allow application to actual field situations. Applications of these techniques include the analysis of the rate of movement of pollutants in ground water in the vicinity of water wells and underground sources of water supply. From this information the status of the rate of pollution can be assessed and corrective measures can be prescribed accordingly. Another useful application of the methods presented is the analysis of design conditions so as to prevent the occurrence of aquifer pollution.