Water well owner training set for Jan. 24 in Port Lavaca

Contact: Drew Gholson, 979-845-1461, dgholson@tamu.edu

PORT LAVACA — A private water well management training conducted by the Texas Well Owner Network, or TWON, will be held Jan. 24 in Port Lavaca.

Water well trainings and screenings will be held at various locations in West Texas during May. (Texas A&M AgriLife Communications photo by Steve Byrns)

The Texas Well Owner Network will present a private water well maintenance training and water screening opportunity Jan. 24 in Port Lavaca. (Texas A&M AgriLife Communications photo by Steve Byrns)

The training, which is free and open to the public, will be from 8 a.m.–3:30 p.m. at the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service office in Calhoun County, 186 Henry Barber Way.  

“Lunch will be provided courtesy of the local groundwater conservation districts,” said Drew Gholson, AgriLife Extension program specialist and network coordinator, College Station.

He said 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 resource.

“The program was established to help well owners become familiar with Texas groundwater resources, septic system maintenance, well maintenance and construction, and water quality and treatment,” Gholson said.

He said participants may bring well-water samples for screening. The cost is $10 per sample, due when samples are turned in.

“Water samples will be screened for nitrates, total dissolved solids and bacteria,” Gholson said.

Well owners who would like to have their well water sampled can pick up two sample containers from one of the following locations:

— AgriLife Extension offices in Calhoun County, Victoria County, 528 Waco Circle in Victoria; Jackson County, 411 N. Wells St., Ste. 111, in Edna; or Refugio County, 107 E. Roca St. in Refugio.

— Groundwater Conservation District offices for Victoria County Groundwater Conservation District, 2805 N. Navarro St, Ste. 210 in Victoria; Calhoun County Groundwater Conservation District, 131-A N. Virginia St. in Port Lavaca; Texana Groundwater Conservation District, 411 N. Wells St. in Edna; or Refugio Groundwater Conservation District, 606 Commerce St. in Refugio.

— Texas Parks and Wildlife Field Station, 2200 Harrison St. in Palacios

— Style Beauty Salon, 122 U.S. Highway 35 N. in Tivoli.

Bringing water samples to the training is not required, Gholson said, but those wanting to have water samples analyzed must attend.

He said space is limited, so attendees are requested to register at http://twon.tamu.edu/training or by calling 979-845-1461 as soon as possible.

The training is one of nine being conducted statewide 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.

More than a 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, according to Gholson.

“Private well owners are independently responsible for monitoring the quality of their wells,” he said. “They are responsible for all aspects of ensuring their drinking water system is safe – testing, inspecting, maintaining it. 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, AgriLife Extension and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Texas A&M University.

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