Addressing water concerns: Quality and conservation in Irwin county, Georgia
Edwards, R. P.
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Water quantity and quality in the past were never a concern with most feeling that we had an excellent and unlimited source of water available through our aquifer. However recently many citizens of the county have had numerous questions and concerns about both water quantity and quality. Our homes and farms use water from the Floridan aquifer for drinking and crop irrigation. In recent years there were two large drops in our aquifer level attributed to the La Nina droughts resulting in very little recharge and an increase in demand for water. On these occasions the drop in the aquifer level had left the well pumps of many of the older home wells above the water level. At this same time arsenic levels also became a concern and resulted in an influx of testing requests. This allowed an opportunity to explain our aquifer, share conservation measures and promote the many water testing services provided through UGA. The focus was on arsenic, but lead and E. coli and total coliform were also concerns. Also proper testing was an issue with many pulling samples incorrectly leading to erroneous readings. There is a need to continue to educate on water quality and conservation in the home and on the farm.