Water screening and workshop to assist private well owners
COLUMBUS, Miss. -- North Mississippi homeowners with private wells will have two opportunities 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 Lowndes County to learn how to better manage, operate and protect their private wells.
The Mississippi Well Owner Network, a program of the Mississippi State University Extension Service, will be held 6-9 p.m. Feb. 21 at the MSU Extension office on 485 Tom Rose Road in Columbus.
Well owners can pick up a sample bottle and sampling collection instructions from Feb. 13-17 and Feb. 20 at the same location. 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 Feb. 21 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Anyone planning to attend the workshop can 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 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 http://gcd.msucares.com/calendar/mississippi-well-owner-network-program-lowndes-county. At the registration page, look for the event title Mississippi Well Owner Network Program. Preregistration is encouraged. Call 662-325-3141 or 662-328-2111 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 http://extension.msstate.edu/publications/publications/mississippi-private-well-populations.