Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Local Org. Suggests; "Test Your Water Well"

Wells should be tested annually. Texas AgriLife Extension, Cooperative Extension Program, and Texas Mexico Border Coalition are sponsoring a water well screening day for area residents on Monday, May 02, 2011 at the Starr County Extension Office located at 500 N Britton Rio Grande City. Texas.   

This well screening day is designed to inform private water well owners and users on the condition of their well water of possible contamination from common contaminants.  These contaminants are fecal coliform, salinity and nitrate.
The presence of fecal coliform in water indicates that feces (bodily waste from humans or animals) may have contaminated the water. Water contaminated with feces have microorganisms present that can cause a number of “waterborne” diseases such as  cholera, typhoid, and dysentery. 

Nitrates in ground water at levels of 10 milligrams per liter mg/L or parts per million) is considered unsafe for human consumption.  Nitrate levels above 10 mg/L can disrupt the blood’s ability to carry oxygen throughout the body.  Nitrate is converted to nitrite which combines with hemoglobin, the chemical that carries oxygen in the blood, to form methemoglobin.  Oxygen can not bind with methemoglobin, therefore, oxygen is not carried throughout the body.  As a result, oxygen starvation occurs.  This condition is called methemoglobinemia. If left untreated, death may result. Infants less that 6 months in age and young livestock are most susceptible.

Salinity in the form of Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) will also be determined on each sample.

You will need to pick up a sample bag and instructions from the Starr County Extension office. You can contact the Starr County Extension office by calling (956) 487-2306  to receive an approved water sampling bag and instructions for taking your well water sample.  It is very important that only sampling bags from the Starr County Extension office be used and all instructions for proper sampling followed to insure accurate results. This service will be free of charge on this day.

A meeting explaining screening results will be held on Tuesday, May 03, 2011 at 5:30 p.m. in El Sauz at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church Parish Hall.

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