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AgriLife agent Osbourn reminds well owners of online resources

Burnet Bulletin of Burnet, Texas

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Often, private water well owners don't have a professional look at their well systems until something goes wrong.

That may be understandable, but it's not wise considering the importance of a reliable, safe drinking water supply, according to Jamie Osbourn, Llano County AgriLife extension agent, announcing a series of online owner lessons that began Jan. 15.

The series of well owner lessons are available for free online at

"Six more lessons should be available by mid-February covering well inspections, well cleaning, and well disinfection as well as water quality issues involving lead, uranium, and septic systems," said Osbourn, who can be contacted by calling 325-247-5159 or by email:

"A routine well inspection can help ensure the well system is operating properly, prolong the system's useful life, and discover water quality problems that present a health risk," he said.

The National Ground Water Association recommends well systems be inspected annually by a licensed or certified water well system professional. A professional inspection should include: a visual inspection of the wellhead, a visual inspection of the well system components and other equipment and a physical inspection of the well system components.

Conditions that warrant a water well system inspection include: anytime the well has been opened up (the well cap or seal removed); a new odor, taste, or cloudiness appear to the water; the well is not producing as much water as before, and anytime a positive water test results for coliform bacteria, anaerobic bacteria or other potential health concerns.

"Between professional inspections, well owners should watch their well systems closely," said Osbourn. "Examine the wellhead area for corrosion or deterioration of components, for components that appear loose or ajar, for new potential groundwater contamination sources, for pooling water around the wellhead and for plant root systems within 10 feet of the wellhead.

"If any of these conditions are evident, discuss them with a qualified water well system professional."

Osbourn's announcement listed four good reasons to test well water:

Family protection: Well owners who do not test their water, could unknowingly allow their families to drink unsafe water.

Others do it: Regular water testing is a normal, common sense stewardship practice for many well owners.

Peace of mind: Is it really worth wondering or worrying about the safety of your water?

Property value: Chances are a property that doesn't have safe drinking water will be less valuable than one that does.

Other resources:

Not part of the Llano AgriLife announcement are a few more resources for well owners. The Texas Commission of Environmental Quality (TCEQ), 512-239-3754 or, maintains guidelines and a list of laboratories accredited by the State of Texas under the National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (NELAP).

The Kingsland Water Supply Corporation, 325-388-6611, at 1422 West Drive in Kingsland, provides bottles and forms to submit samples for testing through a certified lab for $15-$20 per test. The pick-up dates are the first and second Tuesday of each month.

In Burnet County, the Central Texas Groundwater Conservation District, 512-756-4900, at 225 South Pierce Street in Burnet provides a simple positive or negative test for the presence of coliform bacteria. For more involved tests for chemicals and minerals, the district refers county residents to TCEQ resources.

Copyright 2016 Burnet Bulletin, Burnet, Texas. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: January 27, 2016

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