Experts Urge Residents to Test Well Water Before Using in Pools or on Plants

- As summer and Stage 5 drought catastrophe restrictions approach, more and more Wichita falls residents are having wells drilled so they can keep their pools filled this summer and also keep some of their plants alive.

A well may provide you with water for your lawn shrubs and pool but, depending on the quality of each well, that water can have potentially negative effects in the long run. When the triple digits come day after day, Kenny Humpert's family and friends will still have a place to splash and cool off. The water in his pool does not come from the city pipes. It comes from underground.

Humpert had his well drilled last July before Stage 4 restrictions took effect . However, before he used it to fill his pool he had it tested.

"I was really afraid to put a whole lot of the well water in there until I knew exactly what it was that I needed," says Humpert.

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Agent, David Graf says Humpert made a wise decision. He says well water used in the Wichita Falls area comes from the Seymour Aquifer and can be very salty.

"All of this formed, they say, millions of years ago in an area that used to be under ocean water.  So, that's where our salinity is coming from.. from our underground formations," Graf says.

Graf says sodium, along with calcium and other minerals, can make it more difficult to manage chemical levels in a pool, as well as damage and even kill plants, trees and grasses over time. It's something Graf says many people considering drilling a well know in advance about but with desperate times come desperate measures.

Humpert had better luck with his well than some. Tests showed the quality was ok to use in the pool

"Now, I'm not afraid to use it on anything," Humpert says.

If you have a water well or you're thinking about having one drilled, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension is holding an event for you. The Water Well Education Workshop is Monday from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Red River Authority on Hammon road in Wichita Falls. It will provide information on well drilling, testing, what steps to that can be taken to achieve acceptable water quality levels and more. And the workshop is free and open to the public.

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