Free Well Disinfection and Water Quality Workshop for Private Well Owners

November 02, 2018

By Morgen Ayers

ROCKPORT — Private water well owners whose wells flooded should assume that their well water is contaminated until tested, according to Dr. Diane Boellstorff, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service water resource specialist, College Station.

“You should not use water from a flooded well for drinking, cooking, making ice, brushing your teeth or even bathing until you are satisfied that it is not contaminated,” Boellstorff said.

"Wells are a direct link from the land surface into our delicate aquifers. This workshop provides information on the importance of capping or plugging select water wells in order to keep surface contaminants out of our groundwater," said Morgen Ayers, Natural Resources Specialist with Texas Sea Grant.

AgriLife Extension is offering a free well water disinfection and water quality workshop Nov 14, 6:30-8:00 pm at the Aransas County Extension office, 892 Airport Rd, Rockport. The workshop is being co-sponsored by Texas Sea Grant. The workshop aims to improve the understanding of how floods impact private well waters and to provide information about well water quality.

Free test kits will be distributed at the workshop for well owners to return to the Aransas County Extension office on December 3. Instructions for decontaminating a well are available through the following publications free for download at http://twon.tamu.edu/flood-resources/.  Additionally, the best protocol to follow for disinfecting a private well system is found at http://twon.tamu.edu/media/668950/waterwell_tri-fold__state_10-13-17.pdf .

Boellstorff said after a flood wells should be inspected for physical damage and signs of leakage. “If it appears damaged, consult a licensed water well contractor to determine whether repairs are needed,” she said. 

She also noted flooding can damage the well pump and electrical systems. “If the pump and/or electrical system has been underwater and it is not designed to be underwater, do not turn on the pump as there is a potential for electrical shock or damage to your well or pump,” she said.

Boellstorff said once the floodwaters have receded and the pump and electrical system have dried, have a qualified electrician, well driller or pump installer check the wiring system and other well components.

Workshop sponsors include Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, Texas Well Owners Network, Texas Sea Grant, and TAMU CC Center for Water Studies. Refreshments will be provided. For more information about the workshop, contact the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension office in Aransas County at 361-790-0103 or Aransas-tx@tamu.edu. It is free and open to all.

Contacts:

Drew Gholson, 979-845-1461, dgholson@tamu.edu
Ginger Easton Smith, 361-790-0103, vasmith@ag.tamu.edu
Dorina Murgulet, 361-825-2309, dorina.murgulet@tamucc.edu 
Morgen Ayers, 361-825-6216, morgen.ayers@tamu.edu
Diane Boellstorff, 979-458-3562, dboellstorff@tamu.edu

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Texas Sea Grant is a unique partnership that unites the resources of the federal government, the State of Texas and universities across the state to create knowledge, tools, products and services that benefit the economy, the environment and the citizens of Texas. It is administered through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and is one of 33 university-based Sea Grant Programs around the country. Texas Sea Grant is a non-academic research center in the College of Geosciences at Texas A&M University. The program’s mission is to improve the understanding, wise use and stewardship of Texas coastal and marine resources.