REFUGIO — Anyone interested in private water well management in the Copano Bay watershed is invited to a Texas Well Owner Network training Aug. 20 in Refugio.
The training, which is free and open to the public, will be from 8:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m. at the Refugio County Community Center, 305 Swift St., said Drew Gholson, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service program specialist and network coordinator in College Station.
“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,” Gholson said. “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.”
He said participants may bring well-water samples to the training so they may be screened. The cost is $15 per sample, with payment due when samples 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,” Gholson said.
Well owners who would like to have their well water sampled can pick up two sample containers from the AgriLife Extension office in Refugio County.
Bringing water samples to the training is not required, Gholson said, but those wanting to have water samples analyzed must attend the training.
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 30 being conducted statewide through the Preventing Water Quality Contamination through the Texas Well Owner Network project. Other scheduled trainings include Robstown, Yoakum and Brazoria.
“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. This means they are responsible for all aspects of the water system – testing, inspecting, maintaining – and this training will help them 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.