SAN ANGELO – Anyone interested in private water-well management in the Middle and South Concho River watershed area is invited to the free Texas Well Owner Network training Oct. 23 in San Angelo.
The training will be from 8:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m. at the Tom Green 4-H Center Building, 3168 N. U.S. Highway 67, said Drew Gholson, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service program specialist and network coordinator, College Station.
“The Texas Well Owner Network program is for Texas residents who depend on household wells for their water needs,” Gholson said. “Well owners who want to become familiar with Texas’ groundwater resources, septic system maintenance, well maintenance and construction, water quality and water treatment will benefit from this training.”
Participants may bring water-well samples and have them screened for $10, with payment due when they are turned in at the training.
“We invite private well owners to bring in a water sample to be screened for nitrates, total dissolved solids and bacteria,” he said.
Well owners who would like to have their well water sampled can pick up the sample bags and bottles from the AgriLife Extension office in Tom Green, Irion, Schleicher, Runnels, Sterling and Concho counties. They can also be obtained at the Lipan-Kickapoo Groundwater Conservation District office, 9538 York Road, Suite C, in Vancourt.
The analysis cost is $10 per sample for E. coli bacteria, which will be done by SKG Engineering, San Angelo. Sample bags for nitrate and total dissolved solids screening also 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.
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. Every participant will receive a Texas Well Owner Network Handbook, the Well Owner’s Guide to Water Supply.
Gholson said the training is one of 14 being conducted statewide through the Preventing Water Quality Contamination through the Texas Well Owner Network project.
“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 1 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 owners to understand and care for their wells.”
Funding for the Texas Well Owner Network project 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.