The Texas Well Owner Network is hosting a water well screening May 8 in Junction to give area residents the opportunity to have their well water screened.
The screening will be from 8:30–10 a.m. at the Kimble County Courthouse, second floor, 501 Main St.
A meeting explaining screening results will be at 1 p.m. May 8 at the courthouse.
Joel Pigg, AgriLife Extension program specialist, College Station, said area residents wanting to have their well water screened should pick up a sample bag and instructions from the district office in the courthouse. Bags will be available at least a week before the turn-in date.
“It is very important that only sampling bags from the groundwater conservation district office be used and all instructions for proper sampling are followed to ensure accurate results,” Pigg said.
The samples must be turned in by 10 a.m. on the day of the screening. The cost for each sample is $10.
Pigg 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, he said.
“Water with nitrate-nitrogen at levels of 10 parts per million is considered unsafe for human consumption,” Pigg said. “Nitrate levels above 10 parts per million 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.
Pigg said it is extremely important for those submitting samples to be at the May 8 meeting to receive results, learn corrective measures for identified problems and improve their understanding of private well management.
Jerry Kirby, Kimble County Groundwater Conservation District general manager, will discuss the district and its purpose.
For more information, contact the Kimble County Groundwater Conservation District office at 325-446-4826.
To learn more about the network’s programs, publications and resources, please visit TWON's 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.