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UT Arlington chemists testing well water in four counties
     
The Upper Trinity Groundwater Conservation District is seeking water well owners in Parker, Wise, Montague and Hood counties to participate in a groundwater quality study in partnership with UT Arlington researchers through a private firm.

The quality study will provide new data to the district through the testing of over 30 water quality parameters. Study organizers are hoping to gather at least 100 samples in the area.

The private firm collecting the samples, Inform Environmental LLC, is owned by Zacariah Hildenbrand, a research associate at UT Arlington. Hildenbrand and Kevin Schug, Shimadzu Distinguished Professor of Analytical Chemistry at UT Arlington, performed a similar study in 2011. The results, published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology and co-authored by Hildenbrand and Schug, characterized the water quality near natural gas extraction sites.

UT Arlington and Inform Environmental have developed a range of testing methods to analyze the samples for specific contaminants such as arsenic and may identify elements commonly used in unconventional drilling.

"The techniques our research team developed have the potential to address many important questions about water quality in North Texas and
 
Schug
help citizens become better informed," Schug said. "We are eager to expand the reach of our work through this partnership."

Private water wells are not required to be tested for contamination by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, as public water systems. The Upper Trinity Groundwater Conservation District has over 6,000 registered water wells belonging to both public and private entities. The district will soon have the ability to test for basic water quality constituents by a certified field technician; however, the wide-range of water quality parameters of the study has not been attempted by the district before.

“This partnership could open the door to greater cooperation between public and private entities statewide, “ said Dr. Bob Patterson, general manager for Upper Trinity GCD.

To inquire about participation in the study, please contact Hildenbrand at zac@informenv.com or 915-694-7134.

Posted March 6, 2014
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