Hickory Underground Water Conservation District #1

111 East Main Street * PO Box 1214

Brady, TX 76825

Ph. 325-597-2785




Lab and Field Information

The District has an in-house laboratory in which we conduct water quality analysis. We also measure water levels, provide information to landowners, and assist landowners with capping wells.

Water Testing

One of the services the District offers its tax-paying supporters is free water testing. Before bringing water samples to us, call the office. Using the correct containers and sampling techniques are vital to insuring the accuracy of test results. The District lab is NOT a certified lab. Lab results are for informational purposes only. We also test wells outside the District, for a small fee.

There are several constituents for which we test. One of the most crucial is bacteria (coliform/e coli). Individuals may have their water tested for the presence of bacteria to determine whether or not the water is safe. Cities and other water authorities which supply the public are required by law to have a number of samples tested each month; therefore, individuals who are served by city lines can be assured that their water is safe to drink. However, individuals who rely on private wells to supply drinking water should consider sampling on a regular basis to assure drinking safety.

Bacteria causes diseases such as cholera, dysentery, and typhoid fever. These diseases are spread by water which has been contaminated with bodily wastes from infected people or animals. All these diseases are intestinal, and the spread of them can be prevented by testing water for possible fecal contamination. While testing for the actual disease- producing germs is fairly difficult; the non-disease causing germs in the intestines of people and warm- blooded animals are easily detected. These bacteria are called coliform.

Disinfecting your Well

The District also tests for Chloride, TDS/Conductivity, Iron, Nitrate, pH, Sulfate, hardness and pesticides.

Water Levels

We use various methods of monitoring water levels.

Irrigation Techniques

Many types of irrigation techniques are available.

Drip Irrigation

Center Pivot

Abandoned Wells

Everybody probably remembers the 1987 case of the little girl in Midland who fell in a well. This sort of accident is more common than generally believed. In the state of Texas, landowners are liable for any injury resulting from the improperly completed wells or of failure to cap or plug abandoned wells. While capping or plugging wells is not always cheap, legal liability could become much more expensive.
Landowners are also liable for any water contamination resulting from noncompliance with plugging regulations. According to conservative estimates, almost 25 percent of Texas wells are abandoned or the casing is improperly completed. In Texas, abandoned wells are the number one cause of nonpoint source pollution. Remarkably, only one gallon of contaminant can affect 3 to 4 million gallons of water, or the top 3 feet of an aquifer over a 20-acre area.

According to State law, a well is considered abandoned if it has not been used for six consecutive months. A well can be considered in use if it is a) a non-deteriorated well which contains the casing, pump, and pump column in good condition; or b) a non-deteriorated well which has been capped.

While a landowner can do the necessary work to plug certain types of abandoned wells (those with less than 99 feet of standing water), hiring a licensed well driller or pump installer is recommended. Before a landowner plugs his own well, he must first notify the Water Well Drillers Program of the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation and request a plugging form. If the well is within the boundaries of a water conservation district, that district must also be notified. In the case of Hickory UWCD, a capping/plugging form obtained through our office must be completed.
Any landowner in the District interested in capping a well should contact our office. The District will supply well caps and assist the landowner in capping.

The Hickory UWCD No. 1 would like to remind well-owners that every owner or operator of land within the District is required to plug, close, or cap unused wells safely and securely. The cover must be capable of sustaining weight of at least 400 pounds and constructed in such a way that the covering cannot be easily removed by hand. This rule is in effect to prevent contamination to the underground water supply.

More information regarding abandoned wells can be found at http://abandonedwell.tamu.edu.