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This year's Water Well Check-up will be on Wednesday, April 9, 2014. Screening available to the first 60 well owners in the District to pre-register.
*District office is located near 1626 and Manchaca Road in far south Austin. Address is: BSEACD, 1124 Regal Row, Austin, Texas, 78748. Office hours: 8:00am - 5:00pm. After hours sample drop-off will be available after 5:00pm, Tuesday., Apr. 8 , 2014.
Why Test Well Water?
Private water wells should be tested annually for contaminants that can jeopardize the health of its users, especially vulnerable populations like children, the elderly, or those with compromised immune systems.
The Texas Well Owner Network, in partnership with the Blanco and Hays County Offices of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service, the Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifer Conservation District, and the Texas Water Resources Institute, and with support from the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board, will provide a water well screening day for area residents on April 9, 2014.
Participants will be able to pick up a sample bag and sampling instructions and return water well samples to various local agencies including: the BSEACD office, 1124 Regal Row, Austin, Texas.
What Contaminants Are Included in the Screening?
Samples from private water wells will be screened for common contaminants, including fecal coliform bacteria, nitrates, and high salinity. The cost is normally $10 per sample, but the BSEACD will cover the cost of analysis for private wells within its boundary.
- 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) is also an important characteristic. 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.
How Do I Interpret the Results?
A meeting explaining screening results will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 10, 2014 at the Hays County AgriLife Exension Office (near the Embassy Suites Conference Center), located at 1253 Civic Center Loop, San Marcos, TX 78666. Participants will receive testing results, information on corrective measures for identified problems, and strategies to better manage a private well.
For more information on this program, please contact the Hays County AgriLife Extension Service (Richard Parrish in Hays County at 512-393-2120) or the Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifer Conservation District (512-282-8441).
There are a variety of local laboratories that can test residential well samples. If you missed the Water Well Check-up or would like to verify your results, you can contact a local lab to coordinate the analysis.
The Well Owner Guide covers a wide variety of topics. Groundwater is a shared resource, and all well owners can do their part to help protect water quality and availability in the District. Download the guide today, or stop by the office for a hardcopy.
Includes information on:
- District Overview