VICTORIA — The Texas Well Owner Network is hosting a water well screening for area residents May 13 in Victoria.
The screening will be from 8:30-10 a.m. at the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service office for Victoria County, 528 Waco Circle.
A meeting explaining screening results will be at 1:30 p.m. May 14 at the Victoria Educational Gardens Pavilion, 283 Bachelor Drive in Victoria.
The screening is presented by AgriLife Extension, Healthy Texas and Texas Water Resources Institute, or TWRI, in partnership with AgriLife Extension. Healthy Texas is a wellness initiative of AgriLife Extension and the Texas A&M University Health Science Center.
John Smith, AgriLife Extension program specialist, College Station, said area residents wanting to have their well water screened should pick up a sample bag, bottle and instructions from the AgriLife Extension office in Victoria County.
“It is very important that only sampling bags and bottles from the AgriLife Extension office be used and all instructions for proper sampling are followed to ensure accurate results,” Smith said.
The samples must be turned in by 10 a.m. the day of the screening. The cost for each sample is $10.
Smith said private water wells should be tested annually. Samples will be screened for contaminants, including total coliform bacteria, E. coli, nitrate-nitrogen, arsenic and salinity.
Smith said research shows the presence of E. coli bacteria in water indicates waste from humans or warm-blooded animals may have contaminated the water. Water contaminated with E. coli 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. “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.”
Long-term consumption of arsenic in water, Smith said, increases the risk of skin cancer and cancer in the liver, bladder and lungs. In addition, chronic exposure to arsenic may lead to gastrointestinal irritation and cardiovascular disease.
Smith said it is extremely important for those submitting samples to be at the May 14 meeting to receive results, learn corrective measures for identified problems and improve their understanding of private well management.
For more information, contact the AgriLife Extension office in Victoria County at 361-575-4581.
To learn more about the programs offered through the network or to find additional publications and resources, please visit http://twon.tamu.edu.
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 TWRI, part Texas A&M AgriLife Research, AgriLife Extension and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Texas A&M University.
Contact: John Smith, 979-845-2761, email@example.com