Private water well screening set for June 14 and 15 in Decatur

Private water well screening set for June 14 and 15 in Decatur

The Texas Well Owner Network is hosting a water well screening June 14 in Decatur to give area residents the opportunity to have their well water screened. An informational meeting will follow on June 15 to explain the results.

Registration is required. Participants can register online or by contacting John Smith, 979-204-0573, or Joel Pigg, 830-275-3866,

The Well Informed water sample drop-off will be on Monday, June 14 from 8:30-10 a.m. at the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service office for Wise County, 206 S. State Street, Suite A, Decatur, or the Upper Trinity Groundwater Conservation District, GCD, office, 1859 W. Texas Highway 199, Springtown. A meeting explaining screening results will be delivered to participants at 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 15 at the Wise County Fairgrounds, Women’s Building, 3101 S. Farm-to-Market 51, Decatur.

The screening is presented by AgriLife Extension and Texas Water Resources Institute, or TWRI, in partnership with the AgriLife Extension office in Wise County and the Upper Trinity GCD.

John Smith, AgriLife Extension program specialist, College Station, said area residents wanting to have their well water screened should pick up a sample bag, bottle and instructions from the AgriLife Extension office or GCD office.

“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 Monday, June 14. The cost for each sample is $10.

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

Smith said 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.

The presence of nitrate-nitrogen in well water is also a concern. “Water with nitrate-nitrogen at levels of 10 parts per million is considered unsafe for human consumption,” Smith said. “These 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. Using water with high levels for irrigation may damage soil or plants.

Smith said it is extremely important for those submitting samples to be at the Tuesday, June 15 meeting to receive results, learn corrective measures for identified problems and improve their understanding of private well management.

For more information, please contact the AgriLife Extension office in Wise County at 940-627-3341 or the Upper Trinity GCD at 817-523-5200.

To learn more about the programs offered through the network or to find additional publications and resources, please visit

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 TWRI, part of Texas A&M AgriLife Research, AgriLife Extension and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Texas A&M University.

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Event Info:
  • Jun 14, 2021 8:30 AM - Jun 15, 2021 8:00 PM (Add to calendar)
  • Wise County Fairgrounds, Women’s Building, 3101 S. Farm-to-Market 51, Decatur, TX 76234
  • Agenda