Private Water Wells should be tested annually. The Blanco County office of Texas AgriLife Extension is sponsoring a water well screening day for area residents on April 19 at the following locations: Blanco County Extension Office in Johnson City and Blanco General Store in Blanco.
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 cost is $5 per sample..
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 have 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 that 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 Blanco General. You can contact the Extension office by calling 830-868-7167 or Blanco General at 830-833-1651 to receive an approved water sampling bag and instructions for taking your well water sample. It is very important that only sampling bags from these locations be used and all instructions for proper sampling followed to insure accurate results.
All samples should be delivered to either Blanco General or the Extension office on April 19 by noon.
A meeting explaining screening results will be held on April 20 at the Kendalia Community Center beginning at 6:30 p.m. with John Smith, Texas AgriLIFE water specialist presenting the program. Mr. Smith will also present a brief program on water harvesting.