Conservation Matters August 2018

The Texas Land, Water and Wildlife Connection

Water well owner trainings, screening campaign set for August

Water well owner trainings, screening campaign set for August

The Texas Well Owner Network is conducting two Well Educated trainings in West Texas and a sampling screening campaign in August.

The Texas Well Owner Network (TWON) program is for Texas residents who depend on household wells for their water needs, allowing them to learn more about how to improve and protect their community water resources.

“The TWON program was established to help well owners become familiar with Texas groundwater resources, septic system maintenance, well maintenance and construction, and water quality and treatment,” said Dr. Drew Gholson, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service program specialist and the program’s coordinator, College Station.

The Well Educated trainings are free and open to the public.

The first training will be from 8 a.m.-noon Aug. 21 at the Ector County Commissioner’s Court Room, 1010 E. 8th St. in Odessa.

The second training will be from 8 a.m.-noon Aug. 22 at the Tom Green 4-H Center, 3168 N. U.S. Highway 67 in San Angelo. 

Gholson said participants may bring well-water samples to the training for screening. The cost is $10 per sample, due when samples are turned in.

“Water samples will be screened for nitrates, total dissolved solids and bacteria,” he said.

Well owners who are planning to attend the Odessa training and would like to have their well water sampled can pick up two sample containers from the AgriLife Extension offices in Ector County, 1010 E. 8th St.

For the San Angelo training, well owners who would like to have their well water sampled can pick up two sample containers from the AgriLife Extension offices in the following counties:

Gholson said bringing water samples to the training is not required, but those wanting to have water samples analyzed must attend. Attendees can register at http://twon.tamu.edu/training or by calling 979-845-1461.

TWON is also hosting a water sample screenings campaign in August for Burleson and Milam counties to give residents the opportunity to have their well water tested.

The Post Oak Savannah Groundwater Conservation District is sponsoring the screenings in partnership with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in these counties and Texas Water Resources Institute.

Well owners who would like to have their well water sampled can pick up sample kits containing two bottles, instructions and a form beginning Aug. 15 at the AgriLife Extension office for Burleson County, 100 W. Buck St., Ste. 105 in Caldwell, and the AgriLife Extension office for Milam County, 100 E. 1st St. in Cameron. They may also pick up kits Aug. 15 at the Milam and Burleson County Groundwater Summit.

Samples must be turned in to the AgriLife Extension offices in Milam or Burleson counties by 1:30 p.m. on Aug. 23.

“For any citizens in Burleson and Milam counties wanting to have their well water tested, this campaign will allow that at a discounted price to the well owner,” said Bobby Bazan, water resource specialist at the Post Oak Savannah Groundwater Conservation District. “What normally would be $65 per sample will be free for well owners within the district.”

Gholson said samples will be screened for routine analysis plus tested for metals.

“The elemental analysis will show conductivity, pH, sodium, calcium, magnesium, potassium, carbonate, bicarbonate, sulfate chloride, phosphorus, boron, nitrate-nitrogen, hardness, zinc, iron, copper and manganese,” he said. “We will also screen for total coliform and E. coli bacteria.”

“This is a great opportunity for well owners of Milam and Burleson counties to get their wells screened either for the first time to establish a baseline or to continue their efforts of testing and perhaps screen for more contaminants than they have before,” Gholson said.

Gholson said sample results will be available at one of two September workshops:

  • Sept. 11 from 1-5 p.m. at the Caldwell Civic Center, 103 State Highway 21, Caldwell 
  • Sept. 12 from 1-5 p.m. at the groundwater conservation district office, 310 E. Avenue C, Milano.

“It is extremely important for those submitting samples to be at one of the September meetings to receive results, learn corrective measures for identified problems and to improve understanding of private well management,” Gholson said.

Gholson said the workshops also will cover topics such as Texas groundwater resources, septic system maintenance, well maintenance and construction, and water quality and treatment.

For more information for the water sample campaign screening, call 512-455-9900.

To learn more about programs offered through the Texas Well Owner Network or to find additional publications and resources, go to TWON’s website.

Funding for TWON is through a Clean Water Act nonpoint source grant provided by the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The project is managed by the Texas Water Resources Institute, part of Texas A&M AgriLife Research, the AgriLife Extension and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Texas A&M University.

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