Results from Texas well water screenings in areas affected by flooding over the past few years show the importance of those screenings in helping ensure water quality and human health, said Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service personnel supporting the agency’s Texas Well Owner Network, or TWON.
Floodwater may contain substances from upstream, such as manure, sewage from flooded septic systems or other contaminants. Furthermore, there is no regulation or oversight for private wells, so well owners are independently responsible for monitoring their water quality, she said.
John Smith, AgriLife Extension program specialist, College Station, said water contaminated with E. coli is more likely to have pathogens present that can cause diarrhea, cramps, nausea or other symptoms in humans.
Since its inception, TWON has screened water samples from more than 10,000 wells throughout the state.
“As part of our outreach, each year the network offers many well water screenings and educational programs for private well owners throughout Texas,” said Dr. Drew Gholson, AgriLife Extension program specialist and Texas Well Owner Network coordinator, College Station. “These are typically done in collaboration with the local AgriLife Extension office and, in some instances, emergency management personnel. With the amount and extent of flooding we’ve seen in the state over the past few years, we felt it was important and necessary to offer additional screenings in affected areas.”
If a private well owner believes a well might be contaminated by floodwater, only bottled, boiled or treated water should be consumed until the well water has been tested and found safe. She noted information on decontaminating a well can be found in the AgriLife Extension publications “Decontaminating Flooded Water Wells” and “Shock Chlorination of Wells” on the TWON website.”
For more information visit: http://twon.tamu.edu/
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