Landowners that get household water from their private water well have a one-time chance to get a couple of tests conducted free of charge.
On Wednesday, Nov 7 from 1 -5 pm, the Texas Well Owner Network (TWON) will be hosting a free training and water testing at the Angelina County Extension office.
There can be a wide variety of water quality, especially water from private wells.
Years ago, I remember helping out the ladies at the Monastery of the Infant Jesus in Lufkin. It was just prior to Y2K and they had questions about the water in the well they used. There were two water sources: an old shallow well and Lufkin city water.
Now the water from the old shallow well was much preferred because it tasted much better than Lufkin’s water. But the well water had a problem. It killed everything in the vegetable garden.
We ran a number of tests on both water sources. Both passed the test regarding bacteria with high marks. No problems there.
But on the irrigation test, the old shallow well had high levels of the element boron and thus was harming plants. Boron is a mineral found everywhere in food and the environment. In fact, some folks take boron supplements to build strong bones and for other health benefits. Yet, too much boron in the soil will harm plants.
Indeed, Lufkin’s municipal water passed the irrigation test with high marks, proving itself an excellent source of both drinking and irrigation water.
What was also interesting is that not more than half a mile away is a blueberry farm that has a private well for irrigation. Now blueberries are notorious for demanding high quality irrigation water.
The blueberry farm’s water had never been tested but the successful growth of the orchard was evident. The difference? The new well was much deeper and drew from a completely different underground water source.
Thinking ahead to the November 7 seminar, do you know what you are drinking?
Dr. Drew Gholson, AgriLife Specialist and Coordinator of the TWON, says his seminar will help well owners become familiar with the well maintenance, water quality and treatment options.
Two tests will be conducted, free of charge, in conjunction with the program. First a bacteria test will look for coliform and E. coli. A second test will screen for nitrates, total dissolved solids, arsenic, and pH.
To participate in this unique opportunity, attendees must pick up the water collection containers at the Angelina County Extension Office and register for the event by calling 979-845-1461.
Water MUST be collected the morning of the event and brought to the seminar that starts at 1 pm on Nov 7.
Samples will not be accepted prior to the event. Nor will any samples be accepted after the seminar.
For more information, contact the TWON at http://twon.tamu.edu/training or by calling 979-845-1461.
Cary Sims is the County Extension Agent for agriculture and natural resources for Angelina County. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Educational programs of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service are open to all people without regard to race, color, sex, disability, religion, age, or national origin.
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