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Private well water screening for Llano residents is May 11

LLANO — The Texas Well Owner Network is hosting a well screening so residents can have their water tested.

The event is 8:30-9:30 a.m. May 11 in Schorlemmer Hall at St. James Lutheran Church, 1401 Ford St. Samples will be screened for common contaminants, including total coliform bacteria, E. coli, nitrates and high salinity.

A meeting explaining screening results will be held 6 p.m. May 12, also at the church.

The screening is presented by AgriLife Extension and Texas Water Resources Institute in partnership with the AgriLife Extension Office in Llano County.

“Private water wells should be tested annually,” said John W. Smith, AgriLife Extension program specialist. “It is very important that only sampling bags, bottle and instructions from the AgriLife Extension Office in Llano County be used and all instructions for proper sampling are followed to ensure accurate results.”

Smith said area residents wanting to have their well water screened need to pick up a sample bag, a bottle and instructions from the Extension Office, 1447 Texas 71 East. A $10 per sample fee will be collected when bags and bottles are picked up.

The samples must be turned in by 9:30 a.m. the day of the screening.

Research shows the presence of E. coli bacteria in water indicates that waste from humans or warm-blooded animals might have contaminated the water. Water contaminated with E. coli is more likely to also have pathogens present that can cause diarrhea, cramps, nausea or other symptoms.

“Water with nitrate nitrogen at levels of 10 parts per million is considered unsafe for human consumption,” Smith said. “These nitrate levels above 10 parts per million can disrupt the ability of blood 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 also will be determined for each sample. Water with high levels might leave deposits and have a salty taste, and using water with high levels for irrigation could damage soil or plants.

Smith said it is important for those submitting samples to be at the meeting to receive results, learn corrective measures for identified problems and improve understanding of private well management.

For more information, call the AgriLife Extension Office in Llano County at (325) 247-5159. To learn more about the programs offered through the Texas Well Owner Network or to find additional publications and resources, visit twon.tamu.edu.

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