Extremely brackish water found in Wolfforth ETHP well

EDITOR'S NOTE -- This is the last article in a series designed to update readers on the status of the Edwards-Trinity (High Plains) Aquifer drilled in Wolfforth--CEM.

By Jason Coleman, P.E.
HPWD General Manager

In the first two articles of this series, we described the geophysical logging and construction of the test well at Wolfforth.  The results of the pump test and water quality test are presented in this concluding article of the series.

After the temporary well was constructed in the Edwards-Trinity (High Plains) (ETHP) aquifer, the contractor used an airlift procedure to help remove the drilling mud and develop the well.  It is necessary to remove the cake of mud in the borehole wall so that the formation water is transmitted to the well casing.  The contractor then installed a submersible pump for test pumping the well.  Over a twelve hour period of test pumping, the well did not produce much more than ten gallons per minute.  As a result, the test pump was removed in favor of additional well development techniques.  These processes involved more air lifting, as well as a chemical treatment to help remove any remaining drilling mud.  Despite these efforts, little improvement in the well productivity was realized.  Our conclusion is that the limestone rocks do not contain significant cracks or void spaces at this location.

The formation water produced during test pumping was also tested at this time.  The results of this analysis show very high dissolved mineral content.  The water was tested by hand sampler in the field, at a certified laboratory, and with a continuous monitoring probe.  All three methods produced very similar results.  You may recall that public drinking water systems must have total dissolved solids (TDS) of less than five hundred milligrams per liter.  A TDS of 500 mg/L is roughly the same as conductivity of 810 microsiemens per centimeter (uS/cm). 

The chart shown on the front page of this electronic newsletter indicates the test well conductivity ranges from 8,000-16,000 uS/cm, much higher than the allowable for public drinking water.

Scientific publications indicate that water quality in the ETHP Aquifer is generally a bit higher in TDS than Ogallala.  However at this location, the ETHP results are more than ten times higher in TDS than the Ogallala.  This leads us to question whether the sampled water is truly indicative of the ETHP, or if there is a Dockum Aquifer influence in the sampled water.  HPWD studies show that water quality of this same TDS level is present in the Dockum Aquifer.  We also know that “upconing” may occur in the Dockum, which could result in the high TDS results from these samples.  More work should be performed in the ETHP water quality sampling before we may conclusively resolve this question.

Filing period begins July 21 for HPWD Board Positions

Candidates for the position of High Plains Underground Water Conservation District (HPWD) Director in Precincts One, Two, or Five must file an application for place on the ballot with the Water District office between July 21 and August 20, 2018.
 
An application for place on the ballot may be requested by contacting the HPWD office, 2930 Avenue Q, Lubbock, TX 79411-2499 during regular business hours.  The district office is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 12 noon and 1:00 to 5:00 p.m.
 
In August, the Board is expected to order a Nov. 6, 2018 election allowing residents in HPWD Precincts One, Two, and Five to choose a District Director to represent them in groundwater matters for the next four years.
 

Precinct One

District Directors’ Precinct One consists of the portion of Crosby County above the Caprock Escarpment and all of Lubbock and Lynn Counties.  Dan Seale of Lubbock is the incumbent District Director.
 

Precinct Two

District Directors’ Precinct Two consists of Cochran County, most of Hockley County, and all of Lamb County. Brad Heffington of Littlefield is the incumbent District Director.
 

Precinct Five

District Directors’ Precinct Five consists of the portion of Floyd County above the Caprock Escarpment and all of Hale and Swisher Counties. Ronnie Hopper of Petersburg is the incumbent District Director.
 
According to Section 141.001 of the Texas Election Code, a candidate for public elective office (including Water District Director) must:

  • be a United States citizen;
  • be 18 years of age or older on the first day of the term to be filled at the election or on the date of appointment, as applicable;
  • have not been determined by a final judgment of a court exercising probate jurisdiction to be totally mentally incapacitated; or partially mentally incapacitated without the right to vote;
  • have not been finally convicted of a felony from which the person has not been pardoned or otherwise released from the resulting disabilities;
  • have resided continuously in the state for 12 months and in the territory from which the office is elected for six months immediately preceding the regular filing deadline for a candidate’s application for place on the ballot;
  • and be registered to vote in the territory from which the office is elected.

Additional election information is available at www.hpwd.org/election2018 or by calling the district office at (806) 762-0181.
 

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State Climatologist: Texas facing long, hot summer

From AgriLife Today

COLLEGE STATION (July 3, 2018)  – Dry conditions continue to persist in much of the state as this summer is shaping up to be one of the hottest on record, according to Texas State Climatologist, Dr. John Nielsen-Gammon. He said parts of the state received rains that improved moisture levels while other areas continued to experience dry, hot weather. 

Dry conditions are forcing cattle producers in some areas to provide supplemental feed earlier and more frequently than normal. Some areas of the state received significant rains, but most of the state lingers in drought are are nearing drought conditions rapidly. 

Northern counties of the Panhandle and the southern parts of the state along the lower Rio Grande and Coastal Bend improved significantly after heavy rains, he said. Some areas in southern Texas experienced flooding.

But as those areas received rains, Nielsen-Gammon said large swaths of the state, including Northeast, Central and West Central Texas continued to dry out. Parts of Northeast Texas and along the Interstate 35 corridor have received less than 50 percent of their normal rainfall over the last two months.

In the short-term, Nielsen-Gammon said the southern half of the state could receive rain from tropical moisture later this week. But the following weeks look dry for most of the state.

July is typically the driest month for most of the state, he said.

“There may be a decent chance of rain for extreme North and West Texas in the coming weeks,” he said. “That could bring some relief from dry conditions, but as things look right now, much of the state will continue to be dry.”

Meanwhile, temperatures were 3-4 degrees warmer than average over the last month, Nielsen-Gammon said. Temperatures in parts of West Texas have averaged 6-8 degrees warmer than normal since the beginning of May.

“Every station in Texas reported above-normal temperatures, which would make it one of the 10 warmest Junes on record,” he said. “We’re not on pace to equal 2011, but it’s setting up to be a relatively hot summer.”

Nielsen-Gammon said 2011 continues to be the most extreme outlier when it comes to drought. That year, temperatures were more than 5 degrees above normal, or twice the previous record for above-average temperatures.

“If conditions continue as they have been, 2018 could be the second hottest summer on record,” he said. “We could pull that off.”

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