TWRI Program Spotlight: Texas Well Owner Network
Did you know that owners of private water wells are responsible for monitoring the quality of their wells and are frequently at greater risk for exposure to compromised water quality?
In fact, they should have their water well tested at least once a year. And, if their water wells have flooded from heavy rains and flooding, such as after the recent Tropical Depression Imelda, owners should assume their well water is contaminated until screened.
Other reasons to have a well tested or inspected include cracks around the cement completion pad or wellhead and aging wells that could have deteriorating materials, allowing surface water to leak into their supply. Changes in the smell, taste or color of well water could also be signs to have the water screened.
The Texas Well Owner Network program is for Texas residents who depend on household wells for their drinking water needs. Well owners who want to become familiar with Texas’ groundwater sources, water quality, water treatment and well maintenance issues should join the network or view upcoming Well Informed screening and Well Educated training courses.
Read more about TWON
To help private well owners, the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service’s Departments of Soil and Crop Sciences and Biological and Agricultural Engineering along with the Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI) developed the Texas Well Owner Network (TWON) to deliver a science-based, community-responsive educational program for Texas residents who depend on household wells for their drinking water needs.
TWON offers regular voluntary private water well screenings and training events.
The Well Informed screenings are short programs where well owners can bring water samples for screening for fecal coliform bacteria, E. coli, nitrate-nitrogen and salinity. Sample screenings are followed by an explanation of the results and water well protection practices.
The Well Educated trainings are half- to full-day trainings that cover water well construction, groundwater resources, well maintenance, improving and protecting water resources, septic system maintenance, water quality and water treatment. At the training, well owners may bring well water samples to have them screened for contaminants. Participants learn how practices in or near wells affect the quality of water available for drinking and irrigation.
In October and November, TWON is having both Well Informed screenings and Well Educated trainings throughout the state. Read more about them:
Visit the TWON website for more information and resources for private water well owners:
- Training course dates and locations
- TWON email sign-up
- Free publications and fact sheets
- Well maintenance basics
- Groundwater and aquifer information
- Resources on regulations, agencies and more
TWON is part of TWRI’s Engaging & Educating: Water Resources Outreach and Training Program, which enhances interested citizens', students' and water professionals' understanding of critical water issues and management practices. 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.
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As the former communications manager for TWRI, Kathy Wythe provided leadership for the institute's communications, including a magazine, newsletters, brochures, social media, media relations and special projects.