JUNCTION — Anyone interested in private water-well management in the Upper Llano River watershed or surrounding area is invited to attend the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service’s Texas Well Owner Network training June 1 in Junction.
The training will be from 8:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m. at the Texas Tech Llano River Field Station, 254 Red Raider Lane.
The training, a water sample screening and lunch are provided free of charge with support from the Llano River Field Station, the South Llano Watershed Alliance and the Kimble County Groundwater Conservation District.
“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,” said Drew Gholson, AgriLife Extension program specialist and program coordinator. “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.”
Gholson said this is one of 14 trainings to be conducted through the Preventing Water Quality Contamination through the Texas Well Owner Network project. Other scheduled trainings will be held in Killeen, Wimberley, Pleasanton, Fort Stockton, San Angelo, Uvalde and Weatherford.
Participants may bring samples of their well water to the training for analysis. The first 100 samples will be analyzed at no cost. Samples will be screened for nitrate, total dissolved solids, arsenic and bacteria.
“The training provides an opportunity for citizens of the Upper Llano Watershed to become informed of local groundwater quality and aquifer issues,” said Dr. Emily Seldomridge with the Upper Llano River Watershed Protection Plan, Llano River Field Station. “Preservation of groundwater quality and quantity is key to keeping our springs flowing and our rivers healthy.”
Well owners who would like to have their well water sample screened must pick up sample bottles and bags from the Llano River Field Station prior to May 31. Bottles may be picked up from Seldomridge in Building A of the station.
“Fill each bag and bottle, according to instructions, with a sample from their well, and bring the samples to the training on June 1,” Gholson said.
“Over 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 by taking care of 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. For assistance picking up sample bottles, call Seldomridge at 325-446-2301.
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.