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How a Septic System Works

The Mississippi Well Owner Network, a program of the Mississippi State University Extension Service, offers a variety of publications, workshops, and water sampling programs for the state’s rural residents. Most well owners also have on-site wastewater systems, which require maintenance. To learn more about septic systems, visit https://www.epa.gov/septic.


How to Take a Well Water Sample

If you utilize private well water as the source of your household drinking water, then you need to get it screened for bacterial contamination at least once a year. Today, we’re going to show you how to take a water sample for this screening. First, water sample bottles are available from your local Mississippi State University Extension office. They are sterile, sealed, and contain a small amount of sodium thiosulfate to dechlorinate the sample for a more accurate screening result. Choose the faucet that is closest to the well head. If a water hose is attached, remove it before taking the sample and try to avoid any dirty areas. Use a disinfecting wipe or alcohol type towelette or a paper towel wetted with a light bleach solution to kill any bacteria that may be present on the faucet. Allow the solution to dry before collecting the sample. Turn on the water full-force, and let it run for at least two minutes. After that time has passed, reduce the water flow to a small stream. Grab your bottle, unwrap the protective seal. Do not touch the inside of the bottle. Fill the water sample just above the hundred mL line, making sure you do not over-flow the bottle, which might rinse out the powder in the bottle. Screw the cap back on the bottle, and get it to the Mississippi Well Owner Network workshop or the lab as soon as possible, and definitely within 24 hours of collecting the sample.

 

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News

Filed Under: Rural Health, Water, Mississippi Well Owner Network, Rural Water Association, Water Quality April 21, 2022

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The Mississippi State University Extension Service is promoting a free water sampling campaign in seven Mississippi Delta counties.

Water samples will be analyzed for coliform bacteria and metals. Any Mississippi resident with a private well is eligible to participate. Test kits and detailed sampling instructions will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.

Participants can pick up sampling bottles April 26 to May 10 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. at the following MSU Extension county offices:

Filed Under: Mississippi Well Owner Network June 7, 2021

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi homeowners with private wells have two opportunities to learn how to enhance the quality of their drinking water sources.

The Mississippi Well Owner Network, a program of the Mississippi State University Extension Service, will hold workshops at the Extension offices in Perry County July 15 and at the East Central Community Center in Jackson County July 29. Each workshop begins at 6 p.m.

Filed Under: Health and Wellness, Healthy Homes Initiative, Mississippi Well Owner Network March 25, 2021

 Private well workshops in four counties this spring will help homeowners improve their drinking water sources.

Filed Under: Natural Resources, Water, Mississippi Well Owner Network August 24, 2020

Private water well owners in Mississippi can get their water screened for bacteria and learn more about how to manage, operate and protect their wells during several upcoming virtual workshops.

Filed Under: Water, Mississippi Well Owner Network, Water Quality July 26, 2018

Private well workshops in four counties this fall will help homeowners improve their drinking water sources.

Success Stories

A man stands in front of a sign that reads, “Saltillo Mississippi, Welcome Home.”
Natural Resources, Water, Mississippi Well Owner Network, Water Quality
Volume 6 Number 1

Turning on a water faucet typically produces a clear and safe product. If that doesn’t happen, there’s trouble.

Woman standing on pier in lake holding cup of water
Mississippi Well Owner Network
Volume 3 Number 3

Not all water is so delicious that people ask for it to be carried across state lines.

Kate Lartigue of Poplarville is particularly pleased to share her water after attending a Mississippi Well Owner Network workshop offered by the Mississippi State University Extension Service and the Private Well Class. 

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Portrait of Dr. Jason Barrett
Associate Extension Professor
Community Development, Economics & Natural Resources, Water & Wastewater Utilities