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Water testing and workshop to assist private well owners
POPLARVILLE, Miss. -- South Mississippi homeowners with private wells will have two opportunities next month to learn how to protect the quality of their drinking water sources.
Private well owners can get their water tested for bacteria and attend a workshop in Pearl River County to learn how to better manage, operate and protect their wells.
The Mississippi Well Owner Network, a program of the Mississippi State University Extension Service, will be held 6-9 p.m. Sept. 29 at the MSU Extension office at 417 Highway 11 North in Poplarville.
Well owners can pick up sample bottles and sampling instructions from Sept. 21-23 and Sept. 26-28 at the same location. Private well testing will cost $20 per sample analysis. Samples must be taken no more than 24 hours before they are dropped off at the Extension office Sept. 29 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Test results will be mailed to well owners along with instructions for interpreting the findings.
“The workshop is intended to help Mississippi private well owners understand groundwater basics, best practices for well care and how to find assistance,” said Jason 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 groundwater hydrologist with the Illinois State Water Survey. Clinton Dunn, a well construction technology instructor with the Southwest Mississippi Community College, will also speak at the workshop.
Information about the workshop and registration is available at http://gcd.msucares.com/register. At the registration page, look for the event title “Mississippi Well Owner Network Workshop.” Preregistration is encouraged. Call 662-325-3141 or 601-403-2280 for more information.
Workshop participants can bring their water samples when they arrive for the workshop. Attendance is not required to have water tested. A water test 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 12 percent of households in the state’s 82 counties rely on private wells. In four of those counties, more than 40 percent of homes have private wells.”
For additional information on private wells in Mississippi, see Extension Publication 2775, “Mississippi Private Well Populations.”