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Water well trainings, screenings set for July in the Panhandle

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Private well owners in Texas are responsible for all aspects of the water system — testing, inspecting, maintaining.

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service will offer several Texas Well Owner Network trainings and screenings in the Panhandle during July, said program coordinators.

The Texas Water Resources Institute is partnering with AgriLife Extension and the Texas Well Owner Network on these programs. Events are also in collaboration with the Panhandle Groundwater Conservation District, North Plains Groundwater Conservation District and Hemphill County Underground Water Conservation District.

“Private well owners in Texas are independently responsible for monitoring the quality of their wells,” said Dr. Drew Gholson, AgriLife Extension program specialist and network coordinator, College Station. “They are responsible for ensuring their drinking water is safe. This means they are responsible for all aspects of the water system — testing, inspecting, maintaining.”

Gholson said the Texas Well Owner Network provides “Well Educated” trainings and “Well Informed” screenings to help private well owners manage their wells. Both programs provide opportunities to screen water samples for nitrates, total dissolved solids, E. coli and coliform bacteria. The trainings are free and help private well owners understand and care for their wells.

“Well Educated trainings were established to help well owners become familiar with Texas groundwater resources, septic system maintenance, well maintenance and construction, and water quality and treatment,” Gholson said.

Participants may bring well-water samples to the trainings for screening. The cost is $10 per sample, due when samples are turned in. Gholson said bringing water samples to the training is not required, but those wanting to have water samples analyzed must attend.

A Well Educated training will be held July 19 from 8 a.m.-noon at the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agriculture Research Service Conservation and Production Research Laboratory, 2300 Experiment Station Road in Bushland.

Those bringing samples will get results of nitrate nitrogen and total dissolved solids at the meeting and results on bacteria by email.

Well owners wanting their well water sampled can pick up two sample containers from the AgriLife Extension offices for Potter County, 3301 E. 10th Ave. in Amarillo; Randall County, 200 N. Brown Road in Canyon; Oldham County, 110 S. Main St. in Vega; or Armstrong County, 100 Trice St. in Claude.

Space is limited, so attendees are requested to register at http://twon.tamu.edu/training or by calling the AgriLife Extension office for Potter County at 806-468-5543 as soon as possible.

Source: Texas ArgiLife Extension

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