A Texas Well Owner Network (TWON) training has been scheduled for May 4 in Cleburne for residents of Johnson, Ellis, Hill, and Somervell Counties. The program, known as Well Educated, is free and open to the public and will be held Wednesday, May 4 from 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Prairielands Groundwater Conservation District office located at 208 Kimberly Dr., Cleburne, TX 76031.
Joel Pigg, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service program specialist and TWON coordinator, said the TWON program is for Texas residents who depend on household wells for their water needs.
“The program was established to help well owners become familiar with Texas groundwater resources, septic system maintenance, well maintenance and construction, and water quality and treatment,” Pigg said. “It allows them to learn more about how to improve and protect their community water resources.”
Participants also have the option to have their well water tested for nitrates, total dissolved solids and bacteria by TWON staff. Well owners who would like to have their well water tested can pick up two sample containers and collection instructions in the week before the event from the Prairielands Groundwater Conservation District Office, 208 Kimberly Dr., Cleburne; AgriLife Extension office for Hill County, 126 S. Covington St., Hillsboro; AgriLife Extension office for Ellis County, 701 S. IH 35 East, Waxahachie; AgriLife Extension office for Johnson County, 109 W. Chambers Street, Cleburne; or AgriLife Extension office for Somervell County, 1405 Texas Drive, Glen Rose.
Water sample drop-off will be the day before the event, Tuesday, May 3, from 8:30 to 10:00 a.m. at the Prairielands Groundwater Conservation District Office or the AgriLife Extension offices in Hill, Johnson, Somervell, or Ellis counties. Screening costs $10 per sample, due when samples are turned in either by cash or check made out to Prairielands GCD. The Wednesday, May 4 meeting will include information explaining the results. Attendees can register for the event on the Texas Well Owner Network website by visiting https://twon.tamu.edu/trainings/ or by calling 979-845-1461.
More than a million private water wells in Texas provide water to citizens in rural areas and increasingly to those living on small acreages at the growing rural-urban interface. Private well owners are independently responsible for monitoring the quality of their wells.
“They are responsible for all aspects of ensuring their drinking water system is safe — testing, inspecting, maintaining it,” Pigg said. “This training will help private well owners to understand and care for their wells.”
Funding for the Texas Well Owner Network is through a Clean Water Act nonpoint source grant provided by the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The project is managed by the Texas Water Resources Institute, part of Texas A&M AgriLife Research, AgriLife Extension and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Texas A&M University. The entity hosting the training, Prairielands Groundwater Conservation District, was created in 2009 by the 81st Texas Legislature with a directive to conserve, protect and enhance the groundwater resources of Ellis, Johnson, Hill, and Somervell Counties in Texas.