BANDERA — The Texas Well Owner Network will present a water well screening Nov. 6 for residents of Bandera County.
The screening is provided in cooperation with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service office in Bandera County, the Bandera County River Authority and Groundwater District and the Texas Water Resources Institute, with support from the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board.
Water samples will be accepted from 8:30-10 a.m. Nov. 6. at the Bandera County River Authority and Groundwater District Office at 440 Farm-to-Market 3240 in Bandera.
He said a meeting explaining screening results will be held at 7 p.m. on Nov. 7, also held at the Bandera County River Authority office.
“Samples from private water wells will be screened for common contaminants including fecal coliform bacteria, nitrates and high salinity,” said Sam Womble, AgriLife Extension agent, Bandera County.
The cost is $10 per sample and sample bags and sampling instructions may be obtained from the AgriLife Extension office in Mansfield Park at 2886 Highway 16 North or Bandera County River Authority and Groundwater District.
“Sample materials will be available for pick up at both locations beginning Oct. 21,” Womble said. “It’s very important that only sample bags from the local AgriLife Extension office or Bandera County River Authority are used, and all instructions for proper collection be followed to ensure accurate results.”
“It’s extremely important for people presenting samples to be at the meeting to receive results, learn corrective measures for identified problems and to improve their understanding of private well management,” Womble said.
The presence of fecal coliform bacteria in water indicates that waste from humans or warm-blooded animals may have contaminated the water, he explained.
“Water contaminated with fecal coliform bacteria is more likely to also have pathogens present that can cause diarrhea, cramps, nausea or other symptoms,” he said. “And water with nitrates at levels of 10 parts per million is considered unsafe for human consumption. Nitrate levels above that level can disrupt the ability of blood to carry oxygen throughout the body, resulting in a condition called methemoglobinemia, to which infants less than 6 months old and young livestock are susceptible.”
Womble added that total dissolved solids, or TDS, will also be determined for each sample, as water with high levels may leave deposits and have a salty taste, and using water with high levels for irrigation may damage the soil or plants.
For more information, contact Womble at 830-796-7755 or Bandera County River Authority and Groundwater District general manager David Mauk at 830-796-7260.
Support for the Texas Well Owner Network program is provided through Clean Water Act nonpoint source funding from the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.