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UT Arlington researchers examining water quality in Denton, Cooke and Collin counties

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Friday, May 30, 2014

Media Contact: Traci Peterson, Office:817-272-9208, Cell:817-521-5494, tpeterso@uta.edu

News Topics: biology, chemistry, environment, geology, labs, research

The North Texas Groundwater Conservation District is teaming with a group of University of Texas of Arlington researchers to conduct a groundwater quality-testing program that will include at least 100 samples from private wells.

Inform Environmental LLC, a private firm that works with UT Arlington, is looking for volunteer landowners with private wells. The testing is free, and results will be made available to participants. The North Texas Groundwater Conservation District includes Denton, Collin and Cooke counties.

Dr. Kevin Schug

Kevin Schug

“Since we first started examining water quality in 2011, our lab has developed comprehensive testing methods that give us the expertise needed to help North Texas citizens become more informed,” said Kevin Schug, Shimadzu Distinguished Professor of Analytical Chemistry at UT Arlington. “We’re pleased to be collaborating with groundwater conservation districts throughout the state as they work to protect resources and plan for the future.”

Schug and Zacariah Hildenbrand, a research associate at UT Arlington who owns Inform Environmental, were co-authors on a 2013 study published by the journal Environmental Science & Technology that characterized water quality in private water wells near natural gas extraction sites in the Barnett Shale. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality regulates public water systems, but it does not regulate or test the quality of private water wells, even those used for drinking.

The new tests will be conducted on state-of-the-art instrumentation that is part of the Shimadzu Institute for Research Technologies at UT Arlington.

There are 99 Texas groundwater conservation districts, or GCDs, in Texas. They address issues such as efficient use of groundwater, drought conditions, conservation and future aquifer conditions.

Drew Satterwhite, general manager of the North Texas Groundwater Conservation District, said district leaders look forward to obtaining an unbiased examination of water quality.

“Groundwater is becoming a big issue in Texas and there is a lack of data out there about water quality outside public water utilities,” Satterwhite said. “This is just great information to have.”

To inquire about participation in the study, please contact Hildenbrand at zac@informenv.com or 915-694-7132.

About UT Arlington

The University of Texas at Arlington is a comprehensive research institution and the second largest institution in The University of Texas System. The Chronicle of Higher Education ranked UT Arlington as the seventh fastest-growing public research university in 2013. U.S. News & World Report ranks UT Arlington fifth in the nation for undergraduate diversity. Visit www.uta.edu to learn more.

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The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.