FREDERICKSBURG — Anyone interested in private water well management within the Pedernales River watershed is invited to a Texas Well Owner Network training July 24 in Fredericksburg.
The training, which is free and open to the public, will be from 8:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m. at the Hill Country University Center, 2818 E. U.S. Highway 290, according to Drew Gholson, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service program specialist and network coordinator in College Station.
“The TWON program is for Texas residents who depend on household wells for their water needs, so they can learn about improving and protecting their community water resources,” Gholson said. “The program was established to help well owners become familiar with Texas groundwater resources, septic system maintenance, well maintenance and construction, water quality and water treatment.”
He said participants may bring well water samples to the training for screening. The cost is $5 per sample, with payment due when samples are submitted.
“We invite private well owners to bring in a water sample to be screened for nitrates, total dissolved solids and bacteria,” Gholson said.
Well owners who would like to have their well water sampled can pick up two sample containers, a bag and a bottle, from the AgriLife Extension office in Gillespie County or the Hill Country Underground Water Conservation District office.
Bringing water samples to the training is not required, Gholson said, but those wanting to have water samples analyzed must attend the training.
He said space is limited, so attendees are asked to register at http://twon.tamu.edu/training or by calling 979-845-1461 as soon as possible.
The training is one of 30 being conducted statewide through the Preventing Water Quality Contamination through the Texas Well Owner Network project. Other trainings are scheduled in Brazoria, Uvalde, Refugio and Robstown.
“The core content of this program is the same as other trainings, but the information is tailored to local water quality issues and aquifers,” he said.
Gholson said more than a million private water wells in Texas provide water to citizens in rural areas and increasingly to those living on small acreages at the growing rural-urban interface.
“Private well owners are independently responsible for monitoring the quality of their wells,” he said. “They are responsible for ensuring their drinking water is safe. They are responsible for all aspects of the water system – testing, inspecting, maintaining – and this training will help private well owners to understand and care for their wells.”
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, AgriLife Extension and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Texas A&M University.