By: Monty Dozier, Associate Professor and Extension Specialist; Gene Theodori, Associate Professor and Extension Program Leader; and Ric Jensen, Assistant Research Scientist, Texas Water Resources Institute, The Texas A&M University
The protection of water quality is vital for managers of small water systems. Ample resources related to water quality protection are available to help them determine water quality informational and educational gaps related to their systems. While these publications and websites do not represent an exhaustive list of resources on water quality information, they still equip small water system owners and operators with a tool to gather essential information. They also help when researching water quality topics.
The National Rural Water Association has prepared the Security Vulnerability Self-Assessment Guide for Small Drinking Water Systems Serving Populations between 3,300 and 10,000.
TCEQ Publications can also be received via fax request at (512) 239-4488, by telephone (512) 239-0028 or by mail at TCEQ Publications, MC-195, P.O. Box 13087, Austin, TX 78711-3087. When ordering from TCEQ by fax, telephone or mail, include the publication name and/or number.
Disaster Response (Natural and Man-made)
Texas Extension Disaster Network (EDEN) is a web-based clearing house of publications and other informational bulletins/fact sheets related to various disaster response topics. Materials can be downloaded directly from http://texashelp.tamu.edu. The National EDEN website is http://www.eden.lsu.edu/.
Southern Region Water Quality Information System
This website provides abundant water quality information for 13 states across the southern region of the United States. This site has a section dedicated to drinking water and human health. It also includes such items as a glossary of water terms, searchable database of 2,000 frequently asked questions related to water and a geographic information system database with a web-based viewer of this information for the participating states.
National Drinking Water Standards
The Office of Water for the United States Environmental Protection Agency maintains information of the National Safe Drinking Water Standards. This information can be accessed at http://www.epa.gov.
Texas Cooperative Extension (TCE) has developed a publication on drinking water standards, and on what the values indicate related to human and livestock consumption and irrigation water quality. This publication, which may help when developing your consumer confidence report, is entitled “What’s In My Water?” (E-176).
To do your search and then download it, enter the publication number or name.
Private Water Well Management and Treatment
TCE also has developed a series of publications for private well owners and users. This information can be used by managers of small water systems who share the same groundwater resources as private well owners/users in their service area. The publications could also be distributed by small water suppliers with customers who may still have operational water wells used for irrigation or livestock purposes.
The TEX*A*SYST wellhead management and use publication series provides information on completing a risk assessment of private water wells related to potential contamination and methods to reduce such risks. These TEX*A*SYST bulletins provide risk assessments and information for the following private water well situations:
- “Introduction to TEX*A*SYST,” B-6023
- “Wellhead Management and Conditions,” B-6024
- “Pesticide Storage and Handling,” B-6025
- “Fertilizer Storage and Handling,” B-6026
- “Petroleum Product Storage and Handling,” B-6027
- “Hazardous Waste Management,” B-6028
- “Household Wastewater Treatment,” B-6029
- “Livestock Manure Storage and Use,” B-6030
- “Livestock Holding Pen Management,” B-6031
- “Dairy Milking Center Wastewater Treatment,” B-6032
The “Water and Earth’s Resources” publication series deals with common water quality contaminants and treatment options for private water wells. These are available from the TCE Bookstore under the following titles and publication numbers:
- “Drinking Water Problems: Nitrate,” B-6184
- “Drinking Water Standards,” B-6168
- “Shock Chlorination of Stored Water Supplies,” E-351
- “Disinfecting Water after a Disaster,” ER-002
- “Disinfecting Water Wells by Shock Chlorination,” ER-004
- “Flooded Wells,” ER-011
- “Shock Chlorination of Stored Water,” ER-013
- “Shock Chlorination of Wells,” L-5441
- “Solving Water Quality Problems in the Home,” L-5450
- “Drinking Water Problems: Iron and Manganese,” L-5451
- “Drinking Water problems: Lead,” L-5452
- “Drinking Water Problems: Arsenic,” L-5467
- “Drinking Water Problems: Perchlorate,” L-5468
- “Drinking Water Problems: Copper,” L-5472
Several of these publications are also available in Spanish. The numbers are the same except for the “S” on the end. For example, the translated version of L-5441 is L-5441S.
Plugging Abandoned Water Wells Guide
The Texas Groundwater Protection Committee has developed an abandoned water well plugging guide for landowners. It identifies wells that a landowner can plug and outlines the proper steps to follow in plugging an abandoned water well. This action eliminates the risk of groundwater contamination associated with such wells.
The guide can be located at http://www.tgpc.state.tx.us/. This website also has other information related to water wells and groundwater and also has educational slide presentations on the plugging process.
Water Information Clearinghouse
Another website provides links to state and federal agencies involved in water quality and water quantity. Located at http://www.txwin.net/, this website provides links to various water quality and water quantity related web-based information.
Download a printer-friendly version of this publication: Information Sources for Small Water Systems
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