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2012-09-28 digital edition

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2012-09-28 / General Stories

Water Well Screening Day Scheduled

Private water wells should be tested annually. The Texas Well Owner Network, with support by the Bastrop, Fayette, and Lee County Offices of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, the Lost Pines Groundwater Conservation District, the Texas Water Resources Institute, and the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board, is providing a water well screening day for area residents on October 4, 2012.

Participants may bring water well samples to the Lee County Extension office in Giddings at 310 South Grimes. Samples should be submitted by 10:00 a.m. Samples from private water wells will be screened for common contaminants including fecal coliform bacteria, nitrates, and high salinity. The cost is $36 per sample.

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 nitrates at levels of 10 parts per million (ppm) is considered unsafe for human consumption. Nitrate levels above 10 ppm can disrupt the blood’s ability 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 (TDS) will also be determined for each sample. Water with high TDS levels may leave deposits and have a salty taste. Additionally, using water with high TDS for irrigation may damage the soil or plants.

Sample bag and sampling instructions may be picked up from Lee County Extension office in Giddings or from Lexington Feed and Farm, at the corner of Hwy 77 and 3rd Street. It is very important that only sampling bags from the County Extension Office be used and all instructions for proper sampling followed to ensure accurate results.

A meeting explaining screening results will be held at on Friday, November 9, at the Fayette County Extension Meeting Room, 255 Svoboda Lane, LaGrange. The meeting will start at 10 am. It is extremely important to be at this meeting to receive your results, learn corrective measures for identified problems, and to improve your understanding of private well management.

Support for the Texas Well Owner Network program is provided through Clean Water Act ยง319(h) Nonpoint Source funding from the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under Agreement No. 10-04.

For more information contact the Lee County Extension Agent, Keeton Ehrig, at 979-542-2753.

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