Source: AgriLife Today
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.
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.
- Of the 105 well samples screened for nitrate-nitrogen, 50 samples, or about 48 percent were above the 10 parts per million maximum contaminant level, Smith said.
- Thirteen of 112 samples, or about 12 percent, tested positive for the E. coli bacteria, said Dr. Diane Boellstorff, AgriLife Extension water resource specialist, College Station.
- Of the 75 samples tested for arsenic, 14, or about 19 percent, were above the maximum contaminant level, with six samples containing more than 100 parts per million of arsenic, Boellstorff said.
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