Contact: Dr. Drew Gholson, 979-845-1461, email@example.com
COLLEGE STATION — The Texas Well Owner Network is hosting a water sample screening campaign in August for Burleson and Milam counties to give residents the opportunity to have their well water tested at no cost.
The Post Oak Savannah Groundwater Conservation District is sponsoring the screenings in partnership with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in these counties in collaboration with the Texas Water Resources Institute.
“We are excited to partner with the Post Oak Savannah Groundwater Conservation District, which allows us to test for more contaminants than our usual well owner screening program,” said Dr. Drew Gholson, AgriLife Extension program specialist and network coordinator, College Station.
Gholson said samples will be screened for routine analysis plus tested for metals.
“The elemental analysis will show conductivity, pH, sodium, calcium, magnesium, potassium, carbonate, bicarbonate, sulfate chloride, phosphorus, boron, nitrate-nitrogen, hardness, zinc, iron, copper and manganese,” he said. “We will also screen for total coliform and E. coli bacteria.”
Samples must be turned in to the AgriLife Extension offices in Milam or Burleson counties by 1:30 p.m. on Aug. 23.
Well owners who would like to have their water well sampled can pick up sample kits containing two bottles, instructions and a form beginning Aug. 15 at the AgriLife Extension office for Burleson County, 100 W. Buck St., Suite 105 in Caldwell, and the AgriLife Extension office for Milam County, 100 E. 1st St. in Cameron. They may also pick up kits Aug. 15 at the Milam and Burleson Counties Groundwater Summit.
“For any citizens in Burleson and Milam counties wanting to have their well water tested, this campaign will allow that at a discounted price to the well owner,” said Bobby Bazan, water resource specialist at the Post Oak Savannah Groundwater Conservation District. “What normally would be $65 per sample will be free for well owners within the district.”
Gholson said 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 efforts of testing and perhaps screen for more contaminants than they have before.
He said sample results will be available at one of two September workshops:
– Sept. 11 from 1-5 p.m. at the Caldwell Civic Center, 103 State Highway 21, Caldwell.
– Sept. 12 from 1-5 p.m. at the groundwater conservation district office, 310 E. Avenue C in Milano.
Gholson said it is extremely important for those submitting samples to be at one of the September meetings to receive results, learn corrective measures for identified problems and to improve understanding of private well management.
He said the workshops also will cover topics such as Texas groundwater resources, septic system maintenance, well maintenance and construction, and water quality and treatment.
“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 on a periodic basis,” Bazan said.
He said while most people think of the district as monitoring water quantity or availability, it also monitors water quality. Results from these screenings will increase the district’s monitoring of water quality and allow the district to better assist the public with any issues that may arise.
For more information for the Milam and Burleson county screenings, call 512-455-9900.
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.
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.