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Free water quality training October 13 in McKinney to focus on Lavon Lake watershed
By North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD)
Oct 12, 2016
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MCKINNEY, TEXAS – A free workshop on water quality related to the Lavon Lake watershed will be offered from 8:00 a.m. to noon on Thursday, Oct. 13 at the Myers Park & Event Center located at 7117 Co Rd 166 in McKinney, Texas. The Texas Water Steward workshop is presented by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board in cooperation with the North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD).

“This workshop is designed to help watershed residents improve and protect their water resources by becoming involved in Lavon Lake watershed protection and management activities,” said Michael Kuitu, AgriLife Extension program specialist and coordinator for the Texas Watershed Steward program.  “Topics will include a discussion of watershed systems, types and sources of water pollution, and ways to improve and protect water quality.” 

There also will be a group discussion on community-driven watershed protection and management.

Dr. Greg Church, AgriLife Extension agent for Collin County stated “Our primary focus is on the Lavon watershed but the issues we address will be applicable to all waters in the region.”

The effort is critical to the North Texas Municipal Water District which provides treated drinking water to 1.6 million residents in ten counties across North Texas. 

“While our drinking water is safe, this proactive initiative is designed to raise awareness and identify ways to protect the quality of water that flows into Lavon Lake,” said Galen Roberts, NTMWD watershed manager. “A watershed protection plan with input from the public is an important part of maintaining a safe water supply for the region and avoiding higher treatment costs,” Roberts added.

The plan will seek to identify potential sources of pollution in the watershed and outline a strategy for protecting and improving water quality. More information on this project will be presented at the workshop.

“Lavon Lake plays a vital role in regards to regional water supplies, wildlife habitat, recreation, flood control, and more.  It is a truly important water resource,” said Roberts.

Attendees of the workshop will receive a copy of the Texas Watershed Steward Handbook and a certificate of completion. The Texas Watershed Steward program offers continuing education credits for professionals in a number of fields, including:

·       Four continuing education units in soil and water management for certified crop advisers;

·       Four units for professional engineers and certified planners;

·       Four credits for certified teachers;

·       Two credits for nutrient management specialists;

·       Four professional development hours for geoscientists licensed by the Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists;

·       Three general continuing education units are offered for Texas Department of Agriculture pesticide license holders;

·       Four for certified landscape architects;

·       Three for certified floodplain managers;

·       Four continuing education credits for each of the following Texas Commission on Environmental Quality occupational licensees:

o   wastewater system operators

o   public water system operators

o   on-site sewage facility installers

o   landscape irrigators

“This is a great opportunity to get involved and make a difference in your watershed,” said Church.

The program is funded through a Clean Water Act non-point-source grant from the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Participants are encouraged to pre-register. For more information on the Texas Watershed Steward program and to pre-register, go to http://tws.tamu.edu or contact Kuitu at 979-862-4457, mkuitu@tamu.edu; or Church at 972-548-4232, gtchurch@ag.tamu.edu

For information on the Lavon Lake Watershed Protection Plan, visit https://www.ntmwd.com/watershed-management or contact Roberts at 469-626-4637, groberts@ntmwd.com.