Conservation Matters June 2018

The Texas Land, Water and Wildlife Connection

Water well trainings and screenings set for July in the Panhandle

Water well trainings and screenings set for July in the Panhandle

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service will offer several Texas Well Owner Network trainings and screenings in July, said program coordinators.

The Texas Water Resources Institute is partnering with AgriLife Extension and the Texas Well Owner Network on these programs. The events are in collaboration with the Panhandle Groundwater Conservation District, North Plains Groundwater Conservation District and Hemphill County Underground Water Conservation District.

“Private well owners in Texas are independently responsible for monitoring the quality of their wells,” said Dr. Drew Gholson, AgriLife Extension program specialist and network coordinator, College Station. “They are responsible for ensuring their drinking water is safe. This means they are responsible for all aspects of the water system — testing, inspecting, maintaining.”

Gholson said the Texas Well Owner Network provides Well Educated trainings and Well Informed screenings that help private well owners manage their wells. Both programs provide opportunities to screen water samples for nitrates, total dissolved solids, E. coli and coliform bacteria.

The trainings are free, half- to all-day programs that help private well owners understand and care for their wells.

“The Well Educated trainings were established to help well owners become familiar with Texas groundwater resources, septic system maintenance, well maintenance and construction, and water quality and treatment,” Gholson said.

Participants may bring well-water samples to the trainings for screening. The cost is $10 per sample, due when samples are turned in. Gholson said bringing water samples to the training is not required, but those wanting to have water samples analyzed must attend.

The Well Educated training will be:

– July 19 from 8 a.m.-noon at the Bushland Research Center, 2300 Experiment Station Road in Bushland. Well owners wanting their well sampled can pick up two sample containers from the AgriLife Extension offices for Potter County, 3301 E. 10th Ave. in Amarillo, Randall County, 200 N. Brown Road in Canyon, Oldham County, 110 S. Main St. in Vega, or Armstrong County, 100 Trice St. in Claude.

Space is limited, so attendees are requested to register online or call 806-468-5543 as soon as possible.

At the Well Informed screenings, participants have their well-water samples tested. A one-hour explanation of the screening results follows along with recommendations for remediating well contamination, if needed.

“Private water wells should be tested annually and our Well Informed screening provides that,” said John Smith, AgriLife Extension program specialist, College Station.

He said well owners submitting samples should use only sampling bags and bottles from their respective AgriLife Extension office and follow the included instructions carefully to ensure accurate results.

A $10 per sample fee will be collected when bags and bottles are picked up by participants. Bottles and bags will be available at least a week before the turn-in dates.

Dates, times and locations for the Well Informed screenings will be:

– July 17 from 8:30–10 a.m. at the AgriLife Extension office for Ochiltree County, 402 Expo Drive in Perryton. A follow-up meeting to explain screening results will be held at 7 p.m. July 18 at the same location.

 – July 17 from 8:30–10 a.m. at the AgriLife Extension office for Lipscomb County, in the courthouse basement, 1st Main and 1st Avenue in Lipscomb. A follow-up meeting to explain screening results will be held at 7 p.m. July 18 at the AgriLife Extension office for Ochiltree County.

– July 17 from 8:30–10 a.m. at the AgriLife Extension office for Sherman County, in the courthouse annex, 701 North Third St. in Stratford. A follow-up meeting to explain screening results will be held at 6 p.m. July 24 at the same location.

– July 17 from 8:30–10 a.m. at the AgriLife Extension office for Hansford County, 223 Main St. in Spearman. A follow-up meeting to explain screening results will be held at 7 p.m. July 18 at the AgriLife Extension office for Ochiltree County. 

– July 18 from 8:30–10 a.m. at the AgriLife Extension office for Hemphill County, 10865 Exhibition Center Road in Canadian. A follow-up meeting to explain screening results will be held at 6 p.m. July 19 at the same location. This screening is in collaboration with the Hemphill County Underground Water Conservation District. 

– July 18 from 8:30–10 a.m. at the AgriLife Extension office for Roberts County, 122 Waters St. in Miami. A follow-up meeting to explain screening results will be held at 6 p.m. July 24 at the same location.

– July 18 from 8:30–10 a.m. at the AgriLife Extension office for Wheeler County, 7939 U.S. Highway 83 in Wheeler. A follow-up meeting to explain screening results will be held at 6 p.m. July 24 at the same location.

Smith said it is extremely important for those submitting samples to be at the meeting to receive results, learn corrective measures for identified problems and to improve understanding of private well management.

To learn more about programs offered through the Texas Well Owner Network or to find additional publications and resources, visit its website.

Funding for the Texas Well Owner Network 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.

Back to Top