LOCKHART — Anyone interested in private water-well management in the Plum Creek watershed area is invited to attend a Texas Well Owner Network training May 9 in Lockhart.
The no-cost training will be held from 8:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m. at the First Lockhart Baptist Church Fellowship Hall, 315 W. Prairie Lea St.in Lockhart, said Drew Gholson, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service program specialist and network coordinator.
“The TWON program helps Texas residents who depend on household wells for their water needs to learn about improving and protecting their water resources,” Gholson said. “The network is for well owners who want to become familiar with Texas’ groundwater resources, septic system maintenance, well maintenance and construction, water quality and water treatment.”
He said the training also offers private well owners the opportunity to bring in water samples to be screened for nitrates, total dissolved solids, arsenic and E. coli bacteria.
Gholson said the training is one of 14 being conducted statewide in conjunction with the Preventing Water Quality Contamination through the Texas Well Owner Network project.
“The core content of the trainings is the same, but the information is tailored to the local water quality issues and aquifers,” he said.
Well owners who would like to have their well water sampled can pick up the two sample containers, one bag and one bottle, at the AgriLife Extension offices in Caldwell or Hays counties or at the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority.
“Fill each bottle and bag according to instructions with a sample from the water well, and bring the two samples to the training on May 9,” Gholson said.
The cost is $10 per sample for E. coli bacteria analyzed by the river authority, and payment is due when samples are turned in at the training. The sample bags will be used to screen for nitrates, total dissolved solids and arsenic, and should be turned in with the bottle on the day of the training.
Bringing water samples to the training is not required, Gholson said, but if people want their water samples analyzed, they must attend the training.
“More than 1 million private water wells in Texas provide water to citizens in rural areas and increasingly to those living in small acreages at the growing rural-urban interface,” he said. “Private well owners are independently responsible for monitoring the quality of their wells. 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.”
Attendance is limited, so attendees are requested to register at http://twon.tamu.edu/training or by calling 979-845-1461 as soon as possible.
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.