NORTH TEXAS — The Texas Well Owner Network will present water well screenings in October for Jack, Montague, Palo Pinto and Parker counties to give residents the opportunity to have their well water tested.
The screenings are presented by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service offices in these counties in conjunction with the Texas Water Resources Institute.
“Private water wells should be tested annually,” said John W. Smith, AgriLife Extension program specialist, College Station. “It is very important that only sampling bags from their respective AgriLife Extension office be used and all instructions for proper sampling are followed to ensure accurate results.”
The dates, times and locations for the screenings will be:
— Oct. 20 from 8:30–10 a.m. at the AgriLife Extension office for Jack County, 100 N. Main St., Jacksboro. A follow-up meeting meeting to explain screening results will be held at 7 p.m. at the Jack County Fair-barn, 1072 Highway 59.
— Oct. 21 from 8–9 a.m. at the AgriLife Extension office in Montague County, 266 Franklin Street, Montague. A follow-up meeting to explain screening results will be held at 7 p.m. at the Montague County Annex, 11339 State Highway 59 North. At this meeting, the Upper Trinity Groundwater Conservation District will also discuss their ongoing programs regarding local groundwater issues.
— Oct. 22 from 8:30-10 a.m. at the AgriLife Extension office in Parker County, 604 N. Main St., Suite 200, Weatherford.
Smith said for area residents to have their well water tested, they need to pick up a sample bag and sampling instructions from the AgriLife Extension office in their respective county.
The cost is $10 per sample. Samples must be turned in by 10 a.m. for Jack, Palo Pinto and Parker counties and by 9 a.m. for Montague County on the day of the screening. Samples will be screened for common contaminants, including fecal coliform bacteria, nitrates and high salinity.
Smith said the presence of fecal coliform bacteria in water indicates that waste from humans or warm-blooded animals may have contaminated the water. Water contaminated with fecal coliform bacteria is more likely to also have pathogens present that can cause diarrhea, cramps, nausea or other symptoms.
“Water with nitrate nitrogen at levels of 10 parts per million is considered unsafe for human consumption,” Smith said. “These nitrate levels above 10 parts per million can disrupt the ability of blood to carry oxygen throughout the body, resulting in a condition called methemoglobinemia. Infants less than 6 months of age and young livestock are most susceptible.”
Salinity as measured by total dissolved solids will also be determined for each sample. Water with high levels may leave deposits and have a salty taste, and using water with high levels for irrigation may damage soil or plants.
Smith said it is extremely important for those submitting samples to be at the meeting to receive results, learn corrective measures for identified problems and to improve understanding of private well management.
For more information for the Jack County screening, call 940-567-2132; for the Montague County screening, call 940-894-2831; for the Palo Pinto County screening, call 940-659-1228; and for the Parker County screening, call 817-598-6168.
To learn more about programs offered through the Texas Well Owner Network or to find additional publications and resources, go to http://twon.tamu.edu.
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.