Fisher County area well water screening Oct. 2 in Roby

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

Private water well screening set for Oct. 2 in Roby

Contact: John Smith, 979-845-2761, johnwsmith@tamu.edu

ROBY — Residents of Fisher County can have their well water screened from 8:30-10 a.m. Oct. 2 at the Clear Fork Groundwater Conservation District at the U.S. Department of Agriculture Service Center, 601 W. South 1st St. in Roby.

A well water screening will be held Oct. 2 in Roby. (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo)

The screening is hosted by the Texas Well Owner Network and presented by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and the Texas Water Resources Institute in partnership with the AgriLife Extension office in Fisher County and Clear Fork Groundwater Conservation District.

Private well screening results will be shared at 1 p.m. during the Fisher County Ag Day on Oct. 3 at the First Baptist Church, 107 N. College, with registration for the Ag Day starting at 8 a.m.

“Private water wells should be tested annually,” said John Smith, AgriLife Extension program specialist, College Station.

Smith said well owners wanting to have their well water screened should pick up a sample bag, bottle and instructions from the groundwater district at the USDA Service Center in Roby. Bottles and bags will be available at least a week before the turn-in date.

“It is very important that only sampling bags and bottles from the Clear Fork Groundwater Conservation District office be used and all instructions for proper sampling are followed to ensure accurate results,” he said.

The cost is $10 for each sample submitted, and samples must be turned in by 10 a.m. on the day of the screening. Samples will be screened for common contaminants, including total coliform bacteria, E. coli, nitrate-nitrogen and salinity.

Smith said research shows the presence of E. coli bacteria in water indicates waste from humans or warm-blooded animals might have contaminated the water. Water contaminated with E. coli is more likely to also contain pathogens 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, he said.  Water with high levels might leave deposits and have a salty taste, and using water with high levels for irrigation can damage soil or plants.

Smith said it is 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, contact the Clear Fork Groundwater Conservation District at 325-721-8936.

To learn more about the programs offered through the network or to find additional publications and resources, visit http://twon.tamu.edu.

Funding for the Texas Well Owner Network is through a state nonpoint source grant provided by the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board. 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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