Private water wells should be tested annually. The Mills County Office of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service and Fox Crossing Water District are sponsoring a water well screening day for area residents on Monday April 4, 2011 between 8:30 a.m. and 12:00 noon at the Mills County Court House Annex Building located at 1003 Parker in Goldthwaite.
Samples from private water wells will be screened for possible contamination from common contaminants including fecal coliform bacteria, nitrates, and high salinity. The cost is $10 per sample.
The presence of fecal coliform bacteria in water indicates that feces (bodily waste from humans or animals) may have contaminated the water. Water contaminated with fecal coliform bacteria is more likely to also have pathogens present that can cause diarrhea, cramps, nausea, or other symptoms.
Water with nitrates at levels of 10 parts per million (ppm) is considered unsafe for human consumption. Nitrate levels above 10 ppm can disrupt the blood’s ability to carry oxygen throughout the body, resulting in a condition called methemoglobinemia. Infants less than 6 months of age and young livestock are most susceptible.
Salinity as measured by Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) will also be determined for each sample. Water with high TDS levels may leave deposits and have a salty taste. Additionally, using water with high TDS for irrigation may damage the soil or plants.
You will need to pick up a sample bag and instructions from the San Saba County AgriLife Extension Office at the County Courthouse. Samples MUST be returned to the San Saba County Courthouse no later than noon on April 4th, with payment.