Water Well Answers - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Water Well Answers

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With the city of Wichita Falls only inches away from a stage 5 drought, many Texoma residents are questioning the quality and availability of water.

Due to the questions, many residents have started to drill wells.  However, Texoma residents that have drilled water wells, need to test the water quality.

"They need to run a test which is called the Total Dissolved Solid or Total Dissolved Salt (TDS).  What that gives them is a combination of the different salts, magnesium salts, sodium salts that are actually in the water," said David Graf, County Extension Agent with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension.

Another test residents will need to do to test their well water is the Sodium Absorption Ratio (SAR) test.

"What that tells you is the relation of sodium to calcium.  If that number is not in line with what is normally what you can end up with is some soil that ends up being impacted over time," said Graf. 

 Another reason some residents are drilling wells is because of their landscape. 

"Part of that issue is because we're not getting normal rainfall.  If we get normal rainfall, it will help flush those salts through the root zone, but when we're in a drought and we're not getting that what we end up with an increase in the salt level in the soils and then that has a negative impact on the plants," said Graf.

There has even been a well built at the Smith Street Community Garden due to the stage four drought restrictions. 

"The only water that we could use here in the community garden was rain water," said Graf.

Graf encourages Texoma residents to also look into rain water harvesting.

"1000 square feet will give you 600 gallons of water with a one inch rain," said Graf.

Taylor Barnes, Newschannel 6