The Texas Well Owner Network is hosting a water well screening Oct. 28 in Groesbeck to give area residents the opportunity to have their well water screened.
The “Well Informed” sample drop-off will be from 8:30-10 a.m. at the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service office for Limestone County, 200 W. State St.
Only sampling bags and bottles from AgriLife Extension can be used and are available for residents prior to the Oct. 28 testing date.
A virtual online meeting explaining screening results will be delivered to participants at 1 p.m. on Oct. 29.
Submitting a well-water sample
Diane Boellstorff, Ph.D, professor and AgriLife Extension water resource specialist, Bryan-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 in Limestone County.
“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,” she said.
Samples must be turned in by 10 a.m. Oct. 28. The cost for each sample is $10.
Boellstorff said private wells should be tested annually. Samples will be screened for contaminants, including total coliform bacteria, E. coli, nitrate-nitrogen and salinity.
Some possible contaminants, impairments
Research shows the presence of E. coli bacteria indicates waste from humans or other 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,” Boellstorff 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 to this condition.”
Salinity as measured by total dissolved solids will also be determined for each sample. High levels may leave deposits and have a salty taste. And using water with high saline levels for irrigation may damage soil or plants.
Boellstorff said it is extremely important for those submitting samples to be available for the virtual online meeting on Oct. 29 to receive results, learn corrective measures for identified problems and improve their understanding of private well management.
For more information, call the AgriLife Extension office in Limestone County at 254-729-5314.
The TWON website has additional information on programs offered through the network as well as additional publications and resources.
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.