Private water well screening set for July 30 in Sweetwater
SWEETWATER — The Texas Well Owner Network is hosting a water well screening from 8:30-10 a.m. on Wednesday, July 30, at the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service office (Courthouse) for Nolan County at 100 E. 3rd Street, Suite 305 in Sweetwater to give area residents the opportunity to have their well water tested. A meeting explaining screening results will be held at 7 p.m. on July 31, also at the AgriLife Extension office.The screening is presented by AgriLife Extension and Texas Water Resources Institute in partnership with Nolan County AgriLife Extension.“Private water wells should be tested annually,” said John W. Smith, AgriLife Extension program specialist. “It is very important that only sampling bags from the Nolan County AgriLife Extension office be used and all instructions for proper sampling are followed to ensure accurate results.” Smith said for area residents to have their well water tested, they need to pick up a sample bag and sampling instructions from the Nolan County AgriLife Extension office or call 325-236-6912 for more information.The cost is $10 per sample and samples must be turned in by 10 a.m. on the day of the screening. Samples will be screened for common contaminants, including fecal coliform bacteria, nitrates and high salinity. The presence of fecal coliform bacteria in water indicates that waste from humans or warm-blooded animals may have contaminated the water. Water contaminated with fecal coliform bacteria 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. “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 six months of age and young livestock are most susceptible.” Salinity as measured by total dissolved solids will also be determined for each sample. Water with high levels may leave deposits and have a salty taste, and using water with high levels for irrigation may damage soil or plants.Smith said it is extremely 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, please contact AgriLife Extension for Nolan County at 325-236-6912. To learn more about the programs offered through the network or to find additional publications and resources, please visit http://twon.tamu.edu. Support for the Texas Well Owner Network program is provided through Clean Water Act nonpoint source funding from the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.