Conservation Matters September 2018

The Texas Land, Water and Wildlife Connection

TWON hosting screenings Sept. 18 in Leming, San Antonio

TWON hosting screenings Sept. 18 in Leming, San Antonio

The Texas Well Owner Network (TWON) is hosting water well screenings Sept. 18 in Leming and San Antonio to give area residents the opportunity to have their well water screened.

The Leming screening will be from 8:30–10 a.m. at the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service office for Atascosa County, 25 E. 5th St. A meeting explaining screening results will be at 6 p.m. Sept. 20 at the AgriLife Extension office.

The San Antonio screening will be from 8:30–10 a.m. in the conference room at the AgriLife Extension office for Bexar County, 3355 Cherry Ridge St. Suite 208. A meeting explaining screening results will be at 6:30 p.m., Sept. 19 at the AgriLife Extension conference room.

The Leming screening is presented by AgriLife Extension and Texas Water Resources Institute in partnership with the AgriLife Extension office in Atascosa County. The San Antonio screening is presented by AgriLife Extension and Texas Water Resources Institute in partnership with the AgriLife Extension office in Bexar County.

John Smith, AgriLife Extension program specialist, said area residents wanting to have their well water screened should pick up a sample bag, bottle and instructions from the AgriLife Extension offices in Atascosa County or Bexar County. Bottles and bags will be available at least a week before the turn-in date. The cost for each sample is $10.

“It is very important that only sampling bags and bottles from the AgriLife Extension office be used and all instructions for proper sampling are followed to ensure accurate results,” Smith said.

The samples must be turned in by 10 a.m. on the day of the screening.

Smith said private water wells should be tested annually. Samples will be screened for common contaminants, including total coliform bacteria, E. coli, nitrate-nitrogen and salinity.

Research shows the presence of E. coli bacteria in water indicates that waste from humans or warm-blooded animals may have contaminated the water. Water contaminated with E. coli is more likely to also have pathogens present that can cause diarrhea, cramps, nausea or other symptoms, Smith said.

“Water with nitrate-nitrogen at levels of 10 parts per million is considered unsafe for human consumption,” Smith said. “These nitrate levels can disrupt the ability of blood to carry oxygen throughout the body, resulting in a condition called methemoglobinemia. Infants less than 6 months of age and young livestock are most susceptible.”

Salinity as measured by total dissolved solids will also be determined for each sample, he said. Water with high levels may leave deposits and have a salty taste, and using water with high levels for irrigation may damage soil or plants.

For more information, please contact the AgriLife Extension office in Atascosa County at 830-569-0034 or the AgriLife Extension office in Bexar County at 210-631-0400.

To learn more about the programs offered through the network or to find additional publications and resources, please visit http://twon.tamu.edu.

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 Resource Institute. 

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.

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