Wells should be tested annually. The Blanco County office of Texas AgriLife Extension is sponsoring a water well screening day for area residents on May 6th at the the Blanco County Fairgrounds Exhibit Hall.
Samples should be submitted between 8am and 5pm on Monday, May 5, at either of the following locations:
*Blanco General, located at 1138 S. US Hwy 281, in Blanco.
*AgriLIFE Extension Office, located across from Courthouse in Johnson City, in the Annex Building
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.
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. Please contact the County Extension office by calling 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 and a discussion of Water Well Health will be held on Tues May 6th beginning at 6:00 p.m. John W. Smith, water specialist, Texas AgriLIFE Extension service will lead the discussion. Mr. Smith will also demonstrate a well inspection camera at a near by water well. This program will be held at the Exhibit Hall located on the Blanco Co. Fairgrounds.