Private water wells should be tested annually. The Texas Well Owner Network, in partnership with the Mills and San Saba County Offices of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service, the Upper Colorado River Authority, the Texas Water Resources Institute, and with support from the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board is providing a water well screening day for area residents on June 4, 2012. Participants may bring water well samples to the Mills County AgriLife Extension Office at the County Courthouse, 1011 4th Street, Goldthwaite; or the San Saba County AgriLife Extension Office, at the County Courthouse, 500 E. Wallace St., Ste 102, San Saba. Please turn samples in by 10:00 a.m. Samples from private water wells will be screened for 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 waste from humans or warm-blooded 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.Pick up a sample bag and sampling instructions from the Mills or San Saba County AgriLife Extension Offices. You can contact the Mills or San Saba County Extension Offices by calling Mills Extension (325) 648-2650 or San Saba Extension (325) 372-5416. It is very important that only sampling bags from the County Extension Office be used and all instructions for proper sampling followed to ensure accurate results.A meeting explaining screening results will be held at 6:00 p.m. on June 5, 2012 at the Mills County State Bank Community Room in Goldthwaite, 1101 Parker Street, Goldthwaite, Texas. For more information, please contact the Mills or San Saba County Extension Agent, Tom Guthrie, in Mills County or Neal Alexander, in San Saba County or Watershed Coordinator Chuck Brown of the Upper Colorado River Authority. It is extremely important to be at this meeting to receive your results, learn corrective measures for identified problems, and to improve your understanding of private well management. Support for the Texas Well Owner Network program is provided through Clean Water Act §319(h) Nonpoint Source funding from the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under Agreement No. 10-04.