UGA Extension Office

Agriculture & Natural Resources

Latest News Article from ANR Agent

Brian Maddy, County Extension Agent

Odoriferous Water

The extension office gets several calls per month concerning the water supply to the house. What usually tops the list of concerns is that the water has an odor. Water testing may not necessarily determine what causes the odor. Most calls are from those who are on a well for their water supply. The next step is to play water detective.

If the odor doesn’t occur in all the faucets and goes away after running the tap for a few minutes, the cause is somewhere in the fixtures or pipes supplying those specific faucets. If the odor is in all the faucets and goes away after a few minutes it is somewhere in the plumbing system and not in the water supply.

If the odor occurs in all the faucets and does not go away you need to determine whether only the hot tap smells, the cold tap smells or both. If the hot tap smells only, the cause is the magnesium rod in the hot water tank. If both have an odor, the cause of the odor is either in the water source or both the water source and the plumbing system.

If both you and your neighbor have the same problem, it may be from the public water supply.

A simple way to isolate the odor is to fill a glass with tap water and move away from the sink area. If the water stops smelling the odor is coming from the sink area. If it continues to smell, it’s in the water supply. If this is the case at all the faucets, the source is in the water supply.

A common source of odors is from bacterial growth in the sink drains. Disinfecting and flushing the drain are a simple fix. Odors trapped in the plumbing system can release sulfurous or sewage-like smells and can interact with chlorine added to the public water supplies. Hot water heaters may also produce odors if the thermostat is set too low or left unused. A licensed plumber is needed to replace the magnesium rod with an acceptable alternative such as an aluminum rod. The recommendation is to flush these systems as well.

How do odors get into the water supply? Shallow wells, also called bored wells, may be contaminated from surface runoff, septic tanks improperly located too close to the well and leaking underground storage tanks. These types of smells include bleach, and gasoline type odors. Anytime gasoline, turpentine, petroleum, or fuel-like or solvent-like odors are detected stop drinking the water immediately and call the county health department.

Harmful bacteria may be indicated by fishy, earthy, musty or sulfurous odors. Shock chlorination is recommended when bacterial contamination is suspected. This is for both bored wells and drilled wells. If shock chlorination does not solve the problem, call a well company equipped with a camera that can inspect the well pipes for cracks or damage that might be a source of contamination.

Anytime maintenance is performed on your well can lead to contamination. The bacteria on your hands are enough to contaminate the well system. If you are watering livestock with a tank and leave the hose running on the bottom of the tank, back siphoning can occur. If your hose pipe does not have a anti-back siphoning valve, bacteria can easily enter your well.

We have two excellent UGA extension bulletins that address this issue, “Disinfecting Your Well water: Shock Chlorination,” and “Your Household Water Quality: Odors In your Water.” You can print them on line by searching for UGA publications or drop by the office for a copy.

If you suspect something else is the matter with your water supply you can have it tested through the UGA lab services. Bring in a sample in a sterile container such as a small mason jar that has been washed in a dishwasher or a just purchased water bottle. Empty the water out and the bottle will be sterile. Your sample should be the first draw usually taken in the morning before any water is used or after you return from work in the afternoon. It should be at least six hours since the previous use. Let the water run for about ten to fifteen minutes. Use the faucet closest to the well head. It is recommended that you test your well every year or so.

What’s going on in Extension?

· December 7th: Training for Farmers and Growers on the Produce Safety Rule. 8 AM -5 PM lunch is $10.00. Register at: Call the office for more information.

If you have any questions or concerns, stop by or call the office.

Brian Maddy is the ANR Agent for Troup County Extension. The Troup County Extension office is located at 144 Sam Walker Drive, LaGrange, GA. 30240 (706) 883-1675. Monday - Friday/8:00 AM – 12 noon and from 1:00 PM -


Troup County ANR Agent

• The Troup County Cattleman’s Association meets on the 3rd Tues of each month except for July at 7 PM at the Ag Center on 21 Vulcan Materials Road. Dinner is served at 7 PM.

• The Troup County Association of Beekeepers meets the 3rd Monday of each month at 7 PM at the Ag Center on 21 Vulcan Materials Road.

• The Troup County Master Gardener Extension Volunteers meet the 2nd Thursday of each month at the Ag Center on 21 Vulcan Materials Road.

Testing Services

  • Soil Samples- $9.00
  • Organic Matter Test - $13.00 
  • Boron Test - $15.00 
  • Soluble Salts Test - $15.00 
  • Nitrate Test - $15.00
  • Water Samples- $23.00 
  • Lead Test (Pb) (sensitive to 2 ppb) - $43.00
  • GA Extended Water Test (required for water treatment design)- $63 (W1-Basic, W-3 Anions, W11-Soluble Salts, & W18-Alkalinity) Need 1 pint 
  • Real Estate Test (required for new homes with existing well) - $88.00 (Lead, Nitrate ,Nitrite, Total Coliform /E.Coli) Need 1 quart
  • pH only Test - $7.00 
  • Cyanide Test - $53.00

There are no upcoming events at this time.

Market on Main, LaGrange - Market on Main is a joint venture with the Downtown Development Commission and the Troup County Extension Service. It’s comprised of two local markets that came together to form one larger market and is currently located in the Carmike Cinema Parking lot just south of the theater. The market opens at 8:00 PM and closes at 10:00 AM. Fresh vegetables, homemade items such as cakes, canned goods, jellies, bread, soap and plants can be purchased. We do not sell flea market items. Contact Barbie Watts of the Downtown Development Commission at or 706.881.2772 for further information.

Harvest Sale - The Annual Ruban Harvest Street Sale began in 1956 by local county organizers. The main purpose of the harvest sale is to attract customers to buy merchandise from local merchants. The items must be grown or processed or made by the sellers. Usually, merchandise is available on the date that it normally could not be found any other time of the year. Items such as fresh vegetables, fruits, pumpkins, jams and jellies, baked goods, apple cider, sorghum syrup, honey, canned products, live chickens and crafts of all kinds are on hand for sale. In the beginning several ladies frequently attended the sale dressed in quaint costumes in style from their parents and grandparents era. This was often interesting to younger children to see the fads and fashions of yesteryear. Since, the costumes have all vanished with the changing of time, but the harvest sale is continuing to remain a viable and most enjoyable event of the extension service. The Annual Ruban Harvest Street Sale is now called the October Harvest Fest held every year in October from 8:00am until 12:00 noon.

Email Troup County ANR
Extension Publications
Your Household Water Quality: Odors in Your Water (C 1016) Homeowners sometimes experience unpleasant odors in their household water. In many cases, the exact cause of the odor is difficult to determine by water testing; however, this publication provides a few general recommendations for treating some common causes of household water odors.
Native Plants for Georgia Part I: Trees, Shrubs and Woody Vines (B 987) This publication focuses on native trees, shrubs and woody vines for Georgia. It is not our intent to describe all native species — just those available in the nursery trade and those that the authors feel have potential for nursery production and landscape use. Rare or endangered species are not described. Information on each plant is provided according to the following categories: Common Name(s)/Botanical Name/Family, Characteristics, Landscape Uses, Size, Zones and Habitat.
Conversion Tables, Formulas and Suggested Guidelines for Horticultural Use (B 931) Pesticide and fertilizer recommendations are often made on a pounds per acre and tons per acre basis. While these may be applicable to field production of many crops, orchardists, nurserymen and greenhouse operators often must convert these recommendations to smaller areas, such as row feet, square feet, or even per tree or per pot. Thus pints, cups, ounces, tablespoons and teaspoons are the common units of measure. The conversion is frequently complicated by metric units of measure. This publication is designed to aid growers in making these calculations and conversions, and also provides other data useful in the management, planning and operation of horticultural enterprises.
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Below are some of UGA Extension's most broadly useful resources for those involved in agriculture on the farm, in schools, and around the home.

Production Agriculture:
Statewide Variety Testing Which varieties should you plant? The variety testing team does the work and research for farmers.
UGA Weather Network Reliable weather information for agricultural and environmental applications, including soil temperature, rainfall, wind speed, and more.
Pesticide Safety Education Everything you need to achieve certification and maintain the knowledge to safely and effectively make use of restricted-use and all other types of pesticides.
Sustainable Agriculture A collection of resources for those interested in production and marketing practices that are profitable, environmentally sound, and that improve the quality of life for farmers, farm workers, and the community.
Ag Budgets and Economics Resources for production economics, farm management, marketing, situation and outlook, risk management, financial management, farm policy, labor, and taxation.
Farmgate Value Report Annual county-level reports documenting the value of all food and fiber commodities grown in the state.
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Home & Garden:
Soil Testing Ensure that your soil is productive! Get your soil tested to determine the amount and kind of nutrients that should be added for the best growth.
Pest Management Recommendations for pest control around homes, on pets, in the home garden, and more.
Household Water Quality Water quality has an immediate and a prolonged effect on the health of your household. This publication series contains basic information about home water quality and treatment.
Home Garden Publication Series Topics include garden planning, soil preparation, weed control, pollination, disease and insect control, harvesting, and preserving.
Georgia Green Industry Professional Development The UGA Center for Urban Agriculture offers professional training and certifications for the Georgia Certified Landscape Professional, Georgia Certified Plant Professional exam and Super Crew employee training series.
Community and School Gardens This Community and School Gardens blog is designed to help community and school gardeners succeed by connecting them to UGA Extension and other research-based resources.
Lesson Plans and Teacher Resources Whether you'd like to help protect the environment, teach your students how to avoid chronic diseases with healthy food and physical activity, or train food handlers in your cafeteria, University of Georgia Extension can help.