GATESVILLE — More than a dozen Coryell County water well owners, whose water was tested this week, met Tuesday to hear a water resource specialist interpret their results.

The Texas Well Owner Network, in partnership with the Coryell County office of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, on Monday tested 26 water samples from private wells in the county.

Extension specialists John W. Smith and Diane Boellstorff screened the samples for common contaminants, including fecal coliform bacteria, nitrates and high salinity at a cost of $10 per sample.

Boellstorff met with the well owners Tuesday to interpret the test results and answer questions about groundwater conservation and private well management.

Of the 26 samples tested in Coryell County, Boellstorff said, four tested positive for fecal coliform bacteria.

With 15 percent of the samples showing contamination, the county wells were half of the statewide average of 30 percent for private wells, she said.

The average nitrate level for the Coryell samples was 2.4 parts per million (ppm), she said, with a range of 0-20 ppm.

Average salinity of the samples was 1,417 ppm total dissolved solids (TDS) with a range of 250-3,210 ppm TDS, she said.

Private wells should be tested annually for fecal coliform bacteria, Boellstorff said. Wells with a high level of contamination should be shock chlorinated, she said.

The major source of fecal coliform contamination is local septic systems, she said. Livestock, wildlife and domestic pets also can be sources.

The meeting, which lasted more than an hour, is called a Well Informed Session, she said.

A daylong program on well testing and management, called a Well Educated Session, is set for June 20 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Texas A&M University-Central Texas campus in Killeen.

For more information on the Killeen workshop, call (979) 845-1461.

Contact Tim Orwig at

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