Contact: Dr. Drew Gholson, 979-845-1461, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Lucas Gregory, 979-845-7869, LFGregory@ag.tamu.edu
LUFKIN — A Texas Well Owner Network, or TWON, training has been scheduled for 1-5 p.m. Nov. 7 at the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service office for Angelina County, 2201 S. Medford Drive in Lufkin.
The “Well Educated” training is free and open to the public.
Dr. Drew Gholson, AgriLife Extension program specialist and TWON coordinator, College Station, said the program is for Texas residents who depend on household wells for their water needs.
“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,” Gholson said. “It allows them to learn how to improve and protect their community water resources.”
He said participants may bring well-water samples to the training for a free screening.
“The samples will be screened for pH, nitrates, total dissolved solids, arsenic and bacteria,” Gholson said.
The program is co-sponsored by Healthy Texas, a partnership between Texas A&M University Health Science Center and AgriLife Extension that promotes preventive health at the local community level.
Well owners who would like to have their well water tested can pick up two sample containers from the AgriLife Extension office in Angelina County during regular office hours, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.-noon and 1-5 p.m.
Bringing water samples to the training is not required, Gholson said, but those wanting to have water samples analyzed must attend.
“This is a one-time opportunity for free water testing in the AgriLife Extension offices in Angelina County and surrounding counties,” Gholson said. “Samples cannot be accepted outside of the workshop.”
Gholson 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.
Dr. Lucas Gregory, senior research scientist for the Texas Water Resources Institute, said the TWON training supports the institute’s ongoing efforts to improve and protect water quality across East Texas. He said the institute has water quality restoration and protection activities underway in the Attoyac Bayou, Angelina River above Sam Rayburn Reservoir and the La Nana Bayou watersheds.
“We are also beginning to work in numerous other watersheds in East Texas including Biloxi, Cedar, Hurricane and Jack creeks in Angelina County, Big Sandy Creek in Polk County, Wolf and Turkey creeks in Tyler County, and Sandy Creek in Jasper County,” Gregory added.
Gholson said more than a 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,” Gholson said. “This training will help them to understand and care for their wells.”
Funding for TWON 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.