Free Testing for Wharton County Private Water Well Owners

Free testing for Wharton County private water well owners after Hurricane Harvey

October 11, 2017
Corrie Bowen, 979-532-3310, cbowen@ag.tamu.edu

 

WHARTON — Wharton County area residents who want to have their well water tested should pick up a free water sampling test kit from their local Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service office, said Corrie Bowen , Ag Extension Agent of Wharton County.

Wharton County area residents have an opportunity to have their well water tested to see if it has been contaminated by flooding from Hurricane Harvey. “Many wells tested need to be retested. Approximately 50% of wells in Wharton County have been found positive for coliform bacteria and another 20% have been found positive for fecal coliform bacteria. To meet the needs of those people needing to retest or for those who just got their wells repaired and running, we are making the test available for the next five weeks,” Bowen reported.

Private water well owners whose wells flooded from the recent rains should assume their well water is contaminated until tested, according to Dr. Diane Boellstorff, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension 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 it is not contaminated,” Boellstorff said.

Boellstorff, who is in Texas A&M University’s soil and crop sciences department, said floodwater may contain substances from upstream, such as manure, sewage from flooded septic systems or wastewater treatment plants or other contaminants. A septic system near a well also can cause contamination when the soil is flooded.

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension of Wharton County is offering free well water testing to private well users who were affected by Hurricane Harvey as a means to improve understanding of a flood’s impact on private wells and to enhance communications on well water quality. Funding is being provided by LCRA and KKHA FM 92.5 Radio.

Wharton County area residents can pick up a free water sampling test kit starting October 13 at the AgriLife Extension office at 315 E. Milam St., Suite 112, in Wharton. Instructions will be included with the kits, and well owners must be able to return samples on one of five drop off days to the office from 8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.  One important thing to make note of is that well owners must take the water sample on the morning just prior to dropping the water sample off at the Wharton County Extension Office.

 

Drop off dates are as follows:

Tuesday, October 17, 8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Tuesday, October 24, 8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Tuesday, October 31, 8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Tuesday, November 7, 8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Tuesday, November 14, 8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Any homeowner with a private water well in the flood-affected area is eligible. There are a limited number of kits, which will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Only 50 tests per week can be accommodated at this time. Samples will be analyzed for coliform bacteria and fecal coliform backteria. Water quality results will be confidential and will be emailed or mailed to residents’ homes.

Instructions for decontaminating a well are available through the following publications free for download at http://twon.tamu.edu/fact-sheets/:  Decontaminating Flooded Water Wells and Shock Chlorination of Wells.

Drew Gholson, AgriLife Extension program specialist and network coordinator, College Station, said wells should be inspected for physical damage and signs of leakage after a flood.

“If it appears damaged, consult a licensed water well contractor to determine whether repairs are needed,” Gholson said.

He 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 under water, do not turn on the pump as there is a potential for electrical shock or damage to your well or pump,” he said.

Gholson said once 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.

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Corrie Bowen, MS
County Extension Agent – Agriculture
Wharton County
315 E. Milam, Suite 112
Wharton, Texas 77488
(979) 532-3310

Cotton & Grain Risk Management Workshop Oct 19

Cotton & Grain Risk Management Workshop October 19th at Wharton Fairgrounds

Corrie Bowen
County Extension Agent
Wharton County

A Cotton and Grain Risk Management Marketing Workshop is scheduled Thursday, Oct. 19 at the Wharton County Fairgrounds in Crescent, Texas.  The Wharton County Fairgrounds is located at 6036 FM 961 Rd. Registration begins at 8 a.m.  The first presentation will begin at 8:15 a.m.

The workshop is sponsored by the Wharton County AgriLife Extension Office and the Wharton County Row Crops Committee.

“This is an excellent opportunity to be briefed on the need for budgeting, crop insurance choices, outlook and making marketing plans for the next crop year,” said Mac Young, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service program specialist, Corpus Christi.

The following is a schedule of speakers and topics:

–       Budgeting decision tools: Determining break-even and costs of production, Young.

–       U.S. Department of Agriculture Risk Management Agency Update, Francie Tolle, regional office director,
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

–       2018 Crop Insurance Choices, Tom Kelly, Wiese Crop Insurance.

–       Crop Insurance Decision Tool, Dr. Steven Klose, AgriLife Extension economist, College Station.

–       Developing a Management Plan: Incorporating Insurance into Production and Farm Plan, Dr. Mark Welch,   AgriLife Extension grain marketing economist, College Station.

–       Cotton Outlook, Dr. John Robinson, AgriLife Extension cotton marketing economist, College Station.

–       Grain Outlook, Marketing Tools and Strategies, Welch.

The workshop will conclude at 2:00 p.m.

Please RSVP by calling Stacey at 979-532-3310 by 12 noon on Wednesday, October 18th.

Food Manager 2-Day Certification Training Nov 13-14

The Food Manager 2-Day Certification Training will take place November 13-14, 2017 at the Colorado County Extension Office at 316 Spring Street in Columbus, TX. This exciting, hands-on food safety course will equip you with the latest in food safety principles and practices and will help prepare you for the National Certified Food Manager Examination. The cost of this course is $125.00 and includes the course, national certification examination, coursebook, and all course materials. For more information, contact FCS Agent Lori Schindler at 979-532-3310.

Click Here to Download the FPM Registration Form

 

Mail completed registration form with your check or money order by October 27 to:

FPM
118 Cater-Mattil
2253 TAMU
College Station, TX 77843-2253

Ag Producer Disaster Recovery Program Oct 5

By Corrie Bowen

County Extension Agent

Wharton County

 

On Thursday, October 5, 2017 at 2:00 p.m., USDA and the Wharton County Office of Texas A&M AgriLife Extension will be holding a Disaster Recovery Program.  The program will begin at 2:00 p.m. at the Wharton County Fairgrounds, in the Directors Room.  Agriculture Producers affected by Hurricane Harvey will want to attend this program to learn about available disaster assistance for agriculture producers.  The program will begin with Mr. David Daniels, Natural Resource Manager discussing disaster assistance programs available through the Natural Resource Conservation Service.  Mr. Chase Tyndell, County Executive Director with the Farm Services Agency will cover disaster assistance programs available through USDA-FSA.  Gail Hoskins, Farm Loan Manager will follow with information on the USDA Farm Loan Program.  Applications and an overview of other types  of disaster assistance available through Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers, Texas Farm Bureau, and the Texas Department of Agriculture will be made available.  To conclude the program, Dr. Joe Paschal, Extension Livestock Specialist will address management of cattle and storm damaged forages.  If you will be attending the County Extension Offices asks that you contact us by 12 noon on October 5th  by contacting Stacey at 979-532-3310.  We just want to have an idea of how many participants to prepare handouts.

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Corrie Bowen, MS
County Extension Agent – Agriculture
Wharton County
315 E. Milam, Suite 112
Wharton, Texas 77488
(979) 532-3310

PVAMU Posh PumpKing Party

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Prairie View A&M University Cooperative Extension Service and Wharton County Library invite you to attend the Annual Posh “PumpKing” Party that will be held Wednesday, October 11 from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. at the Wharton County Library. This FREE event will be an afternoon of fun fall activities including a pumpkin decorating contest, costume contest, storytelling, face decorating, arts & crafts, carnival games and prizes for everyone. For more information contact Agent Kashara Bell at 979-532-3310 or kashara.bell@ag.tamu.edu or call the Wharton County Library at 979-532-8080.

Flooded Water Wells

Private water well owners whose wells flooded from the recent rains should assume 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 it is not contaminated,” Boellstorff said.

Residents who want to have their well water tested should pick up a water sampling test kit at the office of AgriLife Extension in Wharton County, located at 315 E. Milam St, Suite 112 in Wharton, Texas. Instructions will be provided with the kits and private well owners will have to take them to one of three labs in Rosenberg, Angleton or Downtown Houston. Contact the Wharton County Extension Office at 979-532-3310 for more information.

Boellstorff, who is in Texas A&M University’s soil and crop sciences department, said floodwater may contain substances from upstream, such as manure, sewage from flooded septic systems or wastewater treatment plants or other contaminants. A septic system near a well also can cause contamination when the soil is flooded.

Private water well owners whose wells flooded due to recent rains from  Hurricane Harvey should assume their well water is contaminated until they have it tested.

Instructions for decontaminating a well are available through the following publications free for download at http://twon.tamu.edu/fact-sheets/:  Decontaminating Flooded Water Wells and Shock Chlorination of Wells.

Drew Gholson,  AgriLife Extension program specialist and network coordinator, College Station, 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,” Gholson said.

He 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 under water, do not turn on the pump as there is a potential for electrical shock or damage to your well or pump,” she said.

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

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FREE PRIVATE WATER WELL SAMPLE TESTING

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Private water well owners whose wells flooded from the recent rains should assume their well water is contaminated until tested, according to Dr. Diane Boellstorff, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension 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 it is not contaminated,” Boelstorff said. Texas A&M AgriLife Extension of Wharton County and Virginia Tech are offering FREE well water testing to private well users who were affected by Hurricane Harvey. Sample test kits are available for pickup. Sample COLLECTION AND RETURN will be on Monday, September 18, 2017 from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at the Wharton County Extension Office. For more information please contact the Wharton County Extension Office  at 979-532-3310.

CURRENT STATUS: ANIMAL SUPPLY POINTS

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CURRENT STATUS:  ANIMAL SUPPLY POINTS – WHARTON FAIRGROUNDS IN WHARTON, TX AND B&S SERVICES IN BOLING, TX

 

Saturday, Sept 9th Wharton County Animal Response Update: 

 

Two animal feed distribution points are still operational and continue to provide hay to those affected by hurricane Harvey.

One feed distribution point is located at the Wharton county fairgrounds in Crescent. The Wharton County Fairgrounds is located at 6036 FM 961 RD, Wharton, Texas 77488.  After 8 p.m. on Sunday – September 10th we will focus only on distributing hay to those in need. After 8 p.m. tomorrow  we will have only square and round bales of hay.  Sept. 11-15 hay will be loaded out from 3 p.m.- 8 p.m.  Contact person is Corrie Bowen at 979-480-6430 or cbowen@ag.tamu.edu

 

The Second animal feed distribution site is located at B&S Services at 11928 FM1301, Boling, Tx 77420. We will be standing down the B&S Animal Supply Point.   Contact for the B&S point is Kelly Bannert at 979-578-3368. After September 10th B&S Services will load any remaining hay by appointment only.  Contact Kelly Bannert to request hay.

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2,4-D Application Allowable by Permit Beginning Sep 1

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2,4-D Application Allowable by Permit beginning September 1st

By Corrie Bowen
County Extension Agent
Wharton County

The Texas Department of Agriculture has granted the suspension of a rule regarding the application dates of 2,4-D in Wharton County – Section 7.53(oo)(1) and (2) of the special provisions for Wharton County.  The suspension allows for both the ground and aerial application of 2,4-D and 2,4-D containing herbicides by permit on the east and west sides of the Colorado River in Wharton County beginning on Friday, September 1, 2017.    All other applicable rules for Wharton County continue in effect.  Pesticide applicators are urged to pay special attention to 7.53(oo)(4) “In no case shall 2,4-D be used to treat any area that is nearer than two miles to any susceptible crop.”  Also, in a regulated county such as Wharton County, no person shall spray regulated herbicides (2,4-D, dicamba, MCPA, or quinclorac) when the wind velocity exceeds 10 miles per hour or as specified on the product label, if the label is more restrictive.  Regulated Herbicide Spray Permit applications are available at the Wharton Co. Extension Office, or by logging-on at http://texasagriculture.gov/Portals/0/forms/PEST/Applicator/spraypermitq820.pdf

TDA Pesticide license holders are required to submit a regulated herbicide spray permit when 2,4-D, dicamba, MCPA, or quinclorac will be sprayed in a regulated county.  The submission of the regulated spray permit pertains  to 2,4-D, but also when spraying dicamba, MCPA, or quinclorac in Wharton County.  Completed Regulated Herbicide Spray Permit applications can be faxed to the TDA Regional Office in Houston at (888) 223-5606.

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Corrie Bowen, MS
County Extension Agent – Agriculture
Wharton County
315 E. Milam, Suite 112
Wharton, Texas 77488
(979) 532-3310

 

Livestock and Pet Feed Available to Flood Victims

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LIVESTOCK AND PET FEED AVAILBLE TO FLOOD VICTIMS AT WHARTON FAIRGROUNDS IN WHARTON, TX AND B&S SERVICES IN BOLING, TX

 

TUESDAY, September 5th Wharton County Animal Response Update:

 

Two animal feed distribution points continue to provide cat, dog, cattle, horse feed, and hay to those affected by hurricane Harvey.  One feed distribution point is located at the Wharton county fairgrounds in crescent. Hours of operation at the Wharton fairgrounds site is 8 am to 8 pm. The Wharton County Fairgrounds is located at 6036 FM 961 RD, Wharton, Texas 77488.

 

The Second animal feed distribution site is located at B&S Services at 11928 FM1301, Boling, Tx 77420. Hours of operation at the B&S Services site is 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.  Contact for the B&S point is Kelly Bannert at 979-578-3368. A Texas A&M Agrilife Extension strike team of five county extension agents arrived at the Wharton fairgrounds on Sunday September 3rd to continue operation of the feed distribution points. The Chief in Command is Curtis Preston, county extension agent from Bailey county. Curtis is currently the main point of contact at the Wharton Fairgrounds.

 

Throughout our animal response to Hurricane Harvey, we have taken in the following animals sheltered and rescued, combined:  58 dogs, 77 horses, 1 cat, 3 goats, 5 donkeys, and 367 head of beef cattle.  For the week of September 4th the animal evacuation and rescue shelter , also located at the Wharton fairgrounds has a primary focus this week of returning animals to their owners.  We are cooperating with Wharton County’s S.P.O.T, Texas Animal Health Commission, and Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers to properly return animals to their owners.

 

 

Corrie Bowen, MS
County Extension Agent – Agriculture
Wharton County
315 E. Milam, Suite 112
Wharton, Texas 77488
(979) 532-3310