BY ROD SANTA ANA III
ALICE — Results of recent private water well screenings in five South Texas counties underscored the importance of regular testing of private water wells, said a Texas Well Owner Network official.
“Through these screenings, we identified several contaminants that could potentially cause illnesses or other problems for the private well owners,” said John Smith, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service program specialist, College Station.
The screenings were presented in Brooks, Duval, Jim Hogg, Starr and Webb counties by AgriLife Extension in collaboration with Texas A&M University’s department of soil and crop sciences, the Texas Water Resources Institute and Healthy South Texas.
Healthy South Texas is an initiative of AgriLife Extension and the Texas A&M University Health Science Center to reduce preventable diseases and their consequences throughout the region.
More than 112 well owners in those counties brought their samples to five Texas Well Owner Network well screening events held in August. The samples were screened for common contaminants, including E. coli bacteria, nitrates and high salinity.
Samples were also screened for arsenic if the owner’s well is used as a drinking water source, Smith said. Of the 112 samples, 55 samples, or 49 percent identified a contaminant in the water that could cause health issues.
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