Well Water Testing
By: Eddie Ayers, County Extension Agent
For the most part, north Georgia did not see extreme flooding as a result of hurricane Irma as did other areas of the state, but it does bring to mind the importance of well safety. Wells that were overtopped by flood waters need to be flushed and tested for bacteria because of the potential danger of contaminants being washed into the well. UGA Extension Water Resource Management and Policy Specialist Gary Hawkins recommends pumping and flushing a minimum of 2 or 3 times the well volume to clear the system. This water should be discarded from an outside faucet and not from an inside faucet to bypass the home’s septic tank. After pumping the water, the well should be shock chlorinated then the well should be flushed again until there is no smell of chlorine bleach and, like before, the flushing step should be done through an outdoor faucet to bypass the septic system. This highly chlorinated water, if discharged to the septic tank, could cause problems with the bacterial colonies in the septic tank.
After the well is shock-chlorinated, flushed and the chlorine smell is gone (about two weeks), the well water should be tested for bacteria. Families can get their well water tested using their local county UGA Extension office. Until the test for bacteria comes back, Hawkins strongly suggests that water for cooking or drinking be boiled before consumption. If the well contains bacteria the report will explain how to treat the well.
To calculate the volume of water that should be pumped from a well, use the following calculation. Most of the well casings in this area are 6 inches so the factor for that size is 1.47. That means that there are 1.47 gallons of water for every foot in depth. Multiply the depth of water in the well by this factor to determine how much water is in the well. If your casing is not 6 inches, contact me in the Gilmer County UGA Extension office and we can get the right factor.
There are several methods to determine how much water you have flushed out, but the one that I use is to calculate how long it takes to fill a 5 gallon bucket. Divide that time by 5 to get the output per minute. Using this figure you can determine how many minutes you need to run the water to flush the number of gallons of water that was determined in the previous calculation. A couple of methods can be used to determine the depth of water in a well. If you can see the water in the well, lower a heavy object tied to a string down the well and measure the length of the string until you see the object touch the water. In a deep well, lower a heavy object like above until you hear the object hit the water and measure the length of string. If you cannot see the object hit the water, another way (but less accurate) is to drop a small stone into the well and count or time the seconds it takes for the stone to hit the water (you will have to listen closely for this.) Multiply the number of seconds by 32.2 and that will let you know how far the water is below the surface. Knowing the depth of the well and the depth from surface, subtract the two to get the height of the water column for calculating the volume of water in the well.
An example of this calculation is if you have a well that is 300 feet deep and the water level is 25 feet from the surface, subtracting 25 from 300 equals 275 which means you have 275 feet of water in the well. Multiply 275 by 1.47 to get the gallons in the well. That figure is 404.25 gallons. Using a factor of 3 pints per 100 gallons, you would need to apply a little over 12 pints of chlorine bleach in the well.
If you have any questions about this process or for more information on well water testing, contact me at the Gilmer County UGA Extension office.
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Fall Shrub Care
By: Eddie Ayers, County Extension Agent
It’s that time of year when we must start looking ahead and planning for the upcoming winter. The shrubs in our landscape will benefit greatly from a little bit of tender loving care this fall. Shrubs going into the winter that are hungry (lacking fertilizer) have a much greater chance of winter injury and poor growth the following spring if we don’t give them some attention now.
Azaleas which are rapidly turning yellow or the older leaves are yellowing and falling off indicate a lack of nitrogen going into winter. The leaves on the red flowered selections often turn reddish-brown before the leaves fall off. Late summer and early fall is the ideal time to prevent this yellowing from occurring. If you’re seeing these symptoms now, it’s not too late to take corrective measures. Taking a soil sample and following the recommendations is best, but if you feel you don’t have time to take a soil test, apply a balanced slow release fertilizer that contains a small amount of nitrogen.
A little light pruning in the fall can also do miracles in shaping up shrubs for the winter season. Evergreen hollies and magnolias can be saved until you want to cut foliage for winter decorations. Light pruning in the fall is used to remove long branches and any dead, damaged or diseased branches. Remove those branches that interfere with the driveway, mowing the lawn or the walkway. The pruning cuts should be made back into the interior of the plant at a point where the branch is attached to a larger stem. Sheering evergreens in fall is not recommended since they will produce another flush of growth that is too tender to survive the winter. Too much pruning in the fall makes plants much more susceptible to winter damage and death. Also, pruning in the fall will remove flowers from next year’s spring blooming shrubs so fall pruning should be done lightly and only to shape the plants and remove dead and diseased limbs.
If you have time to take a soil sample, its $9 a bag and one sample covers about 15 acres. We have the bags and testing instructions in the office but generally, just dig down about 3 or 4 inches in 6 different areas, mix it altogether in a small bucket, pour it in a pint size plastic baggie and bring it by the office. We can transfer it to the soil sample bag and send it to the soil, plant and water lab for testing at the University of Georgia. We collect soil samples all week and send them to Athens on Friday mornings. It takes about a week to get the results and recommendations.
For more information about fall pruning and soil testing, contact me at the Gilmer County UGA Extension office.
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Fetch Your News covered four of our local counties graduation ceremonies this weekend as well as some great Memorial Day ceremonies. In this segment BKP shows a few pictures from each graduation and from each of the Memorial Day celebrations. He ends the segment Thanking all the men and women who have given their lives so that we can all enjoy the freedoms that we do daily. He makes a special Thank you to 1st Lt. Robert Kelly, Department of Homeland Security head General John Kelly’s son, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2010.
What a great weekend it was at the Apple Blossom Festival! Karla, Paige and all of the Gilmer Chamber board members made that event such a huge success. Karla tells BKP about some great things to do with Mom on this Mother’s Day weekend. Forest Hills is doing brunch, Chateau Meichtry & Cartecay Vineyards are having Mother’s Day specials and bands playing Saturday and Sunday. Also, Cartecay River Clean Up is Saturday, May 13th if you want to get out and give back to Mother Earth. They will end the clean up day with live music and games. The General Store at Eagle Mountain will be hosting Pick N’ On the Porch on Saturday night as well. So many great things to get into with mom on her special weekend. Karla finishes up by telling us that Taste of Ellijay is May 25th! Mark your calendars because if you like to eat you do not want to miss this! For more info on these events and more visit the Gilmer Chamber calendar.
It is a beautiful spring day here in Gilmer County. Karla and BKP take Karla’s Korner on the road today. This weekend, May 6th and 7th, is the Georgia Apple Blossom Festival. Today’s segment is on location at the Gilmer County Chamber of Commerce where the festival will be held. This festival is FREE admission, pet friendly, will have kids activities, local crafts, and the business expo. Karla tells us all about the festival, what to expect when you arrive, and other fun events going on in the local area this weekend. For more information and times of other events this weekend check out the events calendar on the Gilmer Chamber site.
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Qualified candidates must share our vision of producing and reporting coverage of local sports that stands out as being informative and entertaining for fans and non-fans alike. We cover all teams in our coverage area including area College teams. Coverage may include motor sports (NASCAR, local racing), local prep sports and community events. Our Sports Director is responsible for organizing coverage, producing, and publishing local sports coverage including special news segment on High School – Game Night on all of our platforms. Manage workflow and distribution/scheduling of content on social media. Collaborates effectively with others, along with communicate and work effectively with a team of sports journalists to give a complete picture of sports coverage in designated areas.
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Springtime in Ellijay means a lot of great upcoming events to get outside and enjoy! Dalton State College is hosting an art show for all local students from today until May 5th. There will be a reception tonight to kick off the art show. There are also ribbon cuttings this week at Premier Pools and Spas and Abby’s Ice Cream and Fro Yo. This weekend is Earth Day and it is supposed to be a beautiful weekend. In honor of Earth Day there will be a couple “clean up” events around town one will be at Harrison Park and the other will start at River Pavilion.
The next big Gilmer County event that we are looking forward to is the Apple Blossom Festival on May 6th and 7th. This is a great festival showcasing local craft vendors, food vendors and businesses. Come out, bring your pups, and meet the FYN team. We will have a “pup-cam” and treats for all our furry friends as well. Also in today’s segment with Karla hear a little confession from BKP about “his spot” at the Apple Blossom Festival.
For more information on all these upcoming events and many more check out the events calendar on the Gilmer Chamber website.
Our interview Friday with Speaker of The House David Ralston focused on rural Georgia. Ralston went into detail about the new Rural Georgia Economic Council. This council will be co-chaired by (R) Terry England from Auburn, (R) Jay Powell from Camilla and Vice Chair (R) Sam Watson from Moultry. The council will be holding meetings across Georgia to hear from elected officials, local businesses and citizens about how they feel rural Georgia economy can best be improved. Ralston said jokingly that he better not find out that one meeting took place in Atlanta.
Health care is a major concern in rural Georgia. Several hospitals have closed in rural Georgia areas including one in Ralston’s district in North Georgia. We spoke to Ralston abut one possible solution to meet rural Georgia health care needs. Ralston used the example of the first stand alone emergency room, opened by Piedmont Mountainside Hospital in Gilmer county. In this interview we asked Ralston if Gilmer county still had the possibility of having a full hospital.
Ralston told us that sometime within the next month Governor Nathan Deal would be visiting Gilmer county’s Fire Station 1 to sign the fire fighter’s workmen’s compensation bill. We asked Ralston the difference in this years campus carry bill opposed to last year’s bill which Governor Deal vetoed. Not being able to speak for the Governor, Ralston said he felt they made the changes necessary to get Deal to sign the bill. We also discussed the pay raises agreed upon in the 2017 legislative session for teachers, state law enforcement, and D.F.C.S workers.
Our final question in our interview friday: Speaker Ralston do you see the governor’s mansion in your future?
Tax season is quickly coming to an end. The deadline, April 18th, is almost here. Call 706-635-5563 today and make your appointment with an H & R Block tax professional. Today Beth talks to us about the importance of filing your taxes or filing an extension by the deadline. She tells us about the penalties, interest, and fees you could be looking at if you do not file by the 18th. Also, Beth does a quick review of some of the important tax tips that she has talked about in her past segments. Due to the deadline falling during the holiday weekend this year, Beth Bennett’s H & R Block Highlands Crossing location will be open on Sunday, April 16th from 1 – 5 PM to ensure they are able to take care of your tax filing needs.
It is Easter week. Happy Easter from Fetch Your News and The Gilmer County Chamber! Here in the North Georgia Mountains there are so many family activities going on this weekend. From sunrise church services to egg hunts and much more. Peter Cotton-Tail will surely be seen hopping around in Gilmer County. Also coming up this week, the Network Luncheon will be on Thursday. Representative David Ralston will be speaking at this luncheon. Get more info about this event and see all the upcoming local events on The Gilmer Chamber calendar.
This segment is sponsored by Gilmer County Chamber.