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MSU Extension, Copiah Co. SWCD will host well workshop

MSU Extension Service

HAZLEHURST, Miss. -- South Mississippi homeowners with private wells will have an opportunity next month to learn how to improve the functionality of their drinking water sources.

Private well owners can get their water screened for bacteria and can attend a workshop in Copiah County to learn how to better manage, operate and protect their private wells.

The Mississippi Well Owner Network, a program of Mississippi State University (MSU) Extension, will be held 6-9 p.m. May 9 at the Joe L. Johnson Safe Room at 1060 Epps Lane in Gallman. MSU Extension is partnering with the Copiah County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) to host this workshop and screening.

Well owners may pick up a sample bottle and sampling collection instructions May 1-5 and May 8 at the Copiah County MSU Extension office at 2040 Gallman Road in Hazlehurst or at the Copiah County SWCD office at 27169 Hwy. 28 Suite A in Hazlehurst. The private well screening will cost $25 per sample analysis. Samples must be taken within 12 hours of the drop-off and will need to be dropped off May 9 from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Anyone planning to attend the workshop may bring their water sample then. Screening results will be mailed to the well owner along with a publication explaining how to interpret the results.

“The workshop is intended to help Mississippi private well owners understand groundwater basics, best practices for well care and how/where to find assistance,” said Jason R. Barrett, an assistant Extension professor with the MSU Extension Center for Government and Community Development. “The program will also teach well owners about their private wells, how to sample them, how to interpret sample results, and what they can do to protect their well and its source water from contamination.”  

Joining Barrett in presenting the workshop will be Steve Wilson, a ground water hydrologist with the Illinois State Water Survey.

Information about the workshop and registration is available at At the registration page, look for the event title Mississippi Well Owner Network Program. Preregistration is encouraged. Call MSU Extension at 662-325-3141 or 601-892-1809 or SWCD at 601-894-1118 x3 for more information.

Workshop participants may bring their water sample when they arrive for the workshop. Attendance is not required to have water screened. A water screening is not required to attend.

“The majority of Mississippians get their water from municipal supplies or rural water associations, but there are thousands of homes in rural areas that depend on private wells,” Barrett said. “In fact, an average of 10 percent of households in Mississippi rely on private wells. In four counties, approximately 40 percent of homes have private wells.”

Additional information on private wells in Mississippi is available online at



Released: May 8, 2017
Contacts: Dr. Jason Barrett
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