The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service will offer several Texas Well Owner Network trainings and screenings in the Panhandle during July, said program coordinators.
The Texas Water Resources Institute is partnering with AgriLife Extension and the Texas Well Owner Network on these programs, and events are hosted in collaboration with North Plains Groundwater Conservation District
“Private well owners in Texas are independently responsible for monitoring the quality of their wells,” said Dr. Drew Gholson, AgriLife Extension program specialist and network coordinator, College Station. “They are responsible for ensuring their drinking water is safe. This means they are responsible for all aspects of the water system — testing, inspecting, maintaining.”
Gholson said the Texas Well Owner Network provides “Well Informed” screenings to help private well owners manage their wells. This program provides opportunities to screen water samples for nitrates, total dissolved solids, E. coli and coliform bacteria. The trainings are free and help private well owners understand and care for their wells.
At Well Informed screenings, participants have their well-water samples tested. A separate one-hour explanation of the screening results follows, along with recommendations for remediating well contamination if needed.
“Private water wells should be tested annually and our Well Informed screening provides that,” said John Smith, AgriLife Extension program specialist, College Station.
He said well owners submitting samples should use only sampling bags and bottles from their respective AgriLife Extension office and follow the included instructions carefully to ensure accurate results.
A $10 per sample fee will be collected when bags and bottles are picked up by participants. Sampling items will be available at least a week before the turn-in dates, and samples must be dropped off the morning of July 17th.
Dates, times and locations for Well Informed screenings and follow-ups will be:
– July 17 from 8:30-10 a.m. at the AgriLife Extension office for Ochiltree County, 402 Expo Drive in Perryton. A follow-up meeting to explain screening results will be at 7 p.m. July 18 at the same location.
– July 17 from 8:30-10 a.m. at the AgriLife Extension office for Lipscomb County, located in the courthouse basement at 1 Main St. in Lipscomb. The follow-up meeting will be at 7 p.m. July 18 at the AgriLife Extension office for Ochiltree County.
– July 17 from 8:30-10 a.m. at the AgriLife Extension office for Sherman County, 701 N. Third St. in Stratford. A follow-up meeting will be held at 6 p.m. July 24 at the same location.
– July 17 from 8:30-10 a.m. at the AgriLife Extension office for Hansford County, 223 Main St. in Spearman. A follow-up meeting will be held at 7 p.m. July 18 at the AgriLife Extension office for Ochiltree County.
To learn more about programs offered through the Texas Well Owner Network or to find additional publications and resources, go to http://twon.tamu.edu.
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.