Water well screening campaign set for June in Burleson, Milam counties

Writer: Paul Schattenberg, 210-859-5752, paschattenberg@ag.tamu.edu

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

John Grange, 979-567-2308, john.grange@ag.tamu.edu

Floyd Ingram, 254-697-7045, Floyd.ingram@ag.tamu.edu

John Smith, 979-845-2761, jwsmith@ag.tamu.edu

COLLEGE STATION — The Texas Well Owner Network will host a well-water screening campaign in June for Burleson and Milam counties to give residents the opportunity to have their well water tested.

The Post Oak Savannah Groundwater Conservation District is sponsoring the screenings in partnership with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service offices in these counties and the Texas Water Resources Institute.

“We are excited to partner with the conservation district, which allows us to test for more contaminants than we do in our usual well owner network program,” said Drew Gholson, AgriLife Extension program specialist and network coordinator, College Station.

The Texas Well Owner Network will offer a special well water screening opportunity for residents of Burleson and Milam counties from June 19-22. (Texas Well Owner Network photo by John Smith)

The Texas Well Owner Network program is for Texas residents who depend on household wells for water, Gholson said. These events help well owners learn about improving and protecting well water resources.

The campaign will be June 19-22. Sample kits containing two bottles, instructions and an event flyer will be available for pickup beginning June 5 at the AgriLife Extension office for Burleson County, 100 W. Buck St., Ste. 105 in Caldwell, and the AgriLife Extension office for Milam County, 100 E. First St. in Cameron.

“For any resident of Burleson and Milam counties wanting to have their well water tested, this campaign will allow a discounted price to the well owner,” said Bobby Bazan, water resource specialist at the conservation district. “What normally would be $45 per sample will be $10 per sample for well owners within the district.”

Residents outside these two counties can also bring samples but their cost will be the regular $45 per sample, he said.

Samples must be turned in by 1:30 p.m. each day during the four-day campaign.

Two meetings explaining sample screening results will be held:

– July 14 at 9 a.m. for Milam County residents at the conservation district office, 310 E. Ave. C in Milano.

– July 14 at noon for Burleson County residents at the Burleson County Fair Expo Center, 905 State Highway 36 S. in Caldwell.

Gholson said samples will be screened for routine analysis and tested for metals. The elemental analysis will show conductivity, pH, sodium, calcium, magnesium, potassium, carbonate, bicarbonate, sulfate chloride, phosphorus, boron, nitrate-nitrogen, zinc, iron, copper and manganese.

The Texas Well Owner Network will also screen for total coliform and E. coli bacteria.

“This is a great opportunity for well owners of Milam and Burleson counties to get their wells screened either for the first time to establish a baseline — or to continue their testing efforts by  screening for more contaminants than before,” Gholson said.

Gholson said it is extremely important for those submitting samples to be at the meeting to receive results, learn corrective measures and improve understanding of private well management.

“For those who depend on well water for their drinking source, it goes without saying that for health reasons it is of the utmost importance to have your water tested periodically,” Bazan said.

While the conservation district focuses more on water quantity or availability, Bazan said these results will allow the conservation district to also monitor water quality and better assist the public with any issues that may arise.

For more information for the Burleson County screening, call 979-567-2308. For the Milam County screening, call 254-697-7045.

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 a nonpoint source grant from the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board.

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