Weatherford Democrat

September 14, 2013

Water-well owner training set for Oct. 2 in Weatherford


Weatherford Democrat

— By PAUL SCHATTENBERG



Area residents interested in private water-well management in Parker and surrounding counties are invited to the Texas Well Owner Network training Oct. 2 in Weatherford.

The no-cost training will begin at 8:30 a.m. and conclude by 3:30 p.m. at the Doss Heritage and Culture Center, 1400 Texas Drive, according to Drew Gholson, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service program specialist and network coordinator in College Station.

“The Texas Well Owner Network program is for Texas residents who depend on household wells for their water needs,” Gholson said. “Well owners who want to become familiar with Texas’ groundwater resources, septic system maintenance, well maintenance and construction, water quality and water treatment will benefit from this training.”

Participants can have their water well samples screened for $15; payment is due when samples are turned in at the training, Gholson said.

“We invite private well owners to bring in a water sample to be screened for nitrate, total dissolved solids, arsenic and bacteria,” he said.

Well owners who would like to have their well water sampled can pick up the two sample containers, one bag and one bottle, at the Parker County AgriLife Extension office located at 604 N. Main St., Ste. 200, in Weatherford, as well as the Upper Trinity Groundwater Conservation District office located at 1250 E. State Highway 199, in Springtown. After filling each bottle and bag with a sample from their well, participants should bring the two samples to the Oct. 2 training, Gholson said.

The analysis cost is $15 per sample for E. coli bacteria, which will be analyzed by the City of Fort Worth Water Department Laboratory. Sample bags for nitrate, arsenic and total dissolved solids screening also should be turned in with the bottle the day of the training.

Bringing water samples to the training is not required, Gholson said, but if people want their water samples analyzed, they must attend the training.

Attendance is limited, so attendees are requested to register at twon.tamu.edu/training or by calling 979-845-1461 as soon as possible.

Gholson said the training is one of 14 trainings being conducted statewide through the Preventing Water Quality Contamination through the Texas Well Owner Network project.

“The core content of this program is the same as other trainings, but the information is tailored to local water quality issues and aquifers,” he said. “More than 1 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,” Gholson said. “Private well owners are independently responsible for monitoring the quality of their wells. They are responsible for ensuring their drinking water is safe. They are responsible for all aspects of the water system—testing, inspecting, maintaining—and this training will help private well owners to understand and care for their wells.”

Funding for Texas Well Owner Network project is through a Clean Water Act non-point 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, the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Texas A&M University.