Blanco County News
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Water Well Screening Scheduled for April 20th
Wednesday, April 8, 2009 • Posted April 7, 2009

Texas AgriLIFE Extension recommends testing your water well annually. The Blanco County office of Texas AgriLIFE Extension is sponsoring a water well screening day for area residents on April 20th at the Blanco County Fairgrounds Exhibit Hall.

You will need to pick up a sample bag and instructions from the Blanco County AgriLIFE Extension office or in the Blanco area you can pick up a sample bag at the Blanco General Store. You will need one sample bag per well being tested.

Samples should be submitted between 8am and 12 noon on Monday, April 20th, at either of the following locations:

•Blanco General, located south of Blanco, on Hwy 281.

•AgriLIFE Extension Office, located in Johnson City, across from the Courthouse in the Annex Building

    **Remember, for best results, the samples should be less than 24 hours old**

This well screening day is designed to inform private water well owners and users on the condition of their well water of possible contamination from common contaminants. These contaminants are fecal coliform, salinity and nitrate.

The presence of fecal coliform in water indicates that feces (bodily waste from humans or animals) may have contaminated the water. Water contaminated with feces has microorganisms present that can cause a number of “waterborne” diseases such as cholera, typhoid, and dysentery.

Nitrates in ground water at levels of 10 milligrams per liter mg/L (or parts per million) is considered unsafe for human consumption. Nitrate levels above 10 mg/L can disrupt the blood’s ability to carry oxygen throughout the body. Nitrate is converted to nitrite which combines with hemoglobin, the chemical that carries oxygen in the blood, to form methemoglobin. Oxygen can not bind with methemoglobin, therefore, oxygen is not carried throughout the body. As a result, oxygen starvation occurs. This condition is called methemoglobinemia. If left untreated, death may result. Infants less than 6 months in age and young livestock are most susceptible.

Salinity in the form of Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) will also be determined on each sample.

Please contact the County Extension office by calling 830-868-7167 for more information or to receive an approved water sampling bag and instructions for taking your well water sample. It is very important that only these sampling bags from the County Extension office be used and all instructions for proper sampling followed to insure accurate results. There will not be a charge for the sample screening.

A meeting explaining screening results will be held on Tues April 21st, beginning at 5:30pm. John W. Smith, Water Specialist, Texas AgriLIFE Extension service will lead the discussion. This program will be held at the Exhibit Hall located on the Blanco Co. Fairgrounds, in Johnson City.

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