Well-owner training set for May 12 in Wichita Falls

WICHITA FALLS — The Texas Well Owner Network in partnership with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service office in Wichita County is offering a workshop from 6-8:30 p.m. May 12 at the Red River Authority of Texas, 3000 Hammon Road in Wichita Falls.

A Texas Well Owner Network training will be held April 9 in Lubbock, and attendees are welcome to bring well-water samples for testing. (Texas Well Owner Network photo)

A free Texas Well Owner Network workshop, which is free and open to the public, will be held from 6-8:30 p.m. May 12 at the Red River Authority of Texas in Wichita Falls, located at 3000 Hammon Road. (Texas Well Owner Network photo)

The training, which is to educate residents about the Seymour aquifer, will discuss well construction and protection and explain limitations of using poor quality well water. It is free and open to the public, said Drew Gholson, AgriLife Extension program specialist and network coordinator in College Station.

“This educational session on well water is being presented to help address the many calls and questions we are receiving in the AgriLife Extension office about irrigation water needs due to this extended drought,” said David Graf, AgriLife Extension agent for Wichita County. “Individuals, municipalities and anyone interested in the Seymour aquifer water source should attend.”

Gholson said the program will help well owners become familiar with Texas groundwater resources and well maintenance, construction and water quality issues. Topics will include defining parameters for water use for plants and livestock, evaluating well water quality and determining what steps can be taken to achieve acceptable water quality. If time permits, there also will be a discussion of rainwater harvesting.

“Well water availability and well water quality are two key areas that will be covered in this very important workshop to help us deal with extended drought,” Graf said. “Some samples have shown there is water in the county that is questionable for plants. This workshop will provide some answers on how to deal with borderline quality water.”

This is one of 30 trainings being conducted statewide through the Preventing Water Quality Contamination through the Texas Well Owner Network project. Other upcoming trainings are scheduled for Conroe, Hamilton, Sonora, Fredericksburg, Robstown and Refugio.

“Private well owners are independently responsible for monitoring the quality of their wells,” Graf said. “They are responsible for ensuring their 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.”

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.

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