The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service will offer Texas Well Owner Network (TWON) trainings and screenings throughout Texas in April, said program coordinators. The Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI) partners with AgriLife Extension and the network on these programs.
“Private well owners in Texas are independently responsible for monitoring the quality of their wells,” said Dr. Diane Boellstorff, AgriLife Extension water resource specialist, 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 and maintaining.”
TWON provides Well Educated trainings and Well Informed screenings that help private well owners manage their wells, Boellstorff said. Both events provide opportunities to screen water samples for nitrates, total dissolved solids, E. coli and coliform bacteria.
“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,” said Drew Gholson, AgriLife Extension program specialist and network coordinator.
Participants may bring well-water samples to the trainings for screening. The screening cost is $10 per sample, due when samples are presented. Gholson said bringing water samples to the training is not required, but those wanting to have water samples analyzed must attend.
For dates, times and locations for the Well Educated trainings, go to twon.tamu.edu/training
At the Well Informed screenings, participants can 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 participants pick up the bags and bottles. The bags and bottles will be available at least a week before the turn-in dates.
For dates for the Well Informed screenings, go to twon.tamu.edu/well-informed.
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 enhance their understanding of private well management.
To learn more about programs offered through the Texas Well Owner Network or to find additional publications and resources, go to twon.tamu.edu.
Funding for the Texas Well Owner Network is through a nonpoint source grant provided by the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation, and the project is managed by TWRI.