The water supply for Harris County Fresh Water Supply District 61 is Deep Wells. Water is pumped from aquifers to the Water Treatment Plant. For more information please contact: 281.469.9405
How does Harris County Fresh Water District # 61 treat the drinking water?
The Water District uses conventional water treatment process that includes disinfection. Chlorine is added to the water to kill harmful bacteria. All chemicals used are regulated and approved for use in drinking water.
Why does my water appear cloudy or milky at times?
Cloudy water is often caused by dissolved oxygen being released from the water. Cold water can hold more oxygen than warm water. Water saturated with oxygen will release oxygen as it warms or as the pressure is released. This release makes water appear milky or cloudy, but it does not affect the safety of the water. The cloudiness usually will disappear in about 30 seconds.
Why does my water sometimes look brown or red?
Often your water is discolored because of pipeline breaks and repairs. The color comes from iron or mineral deposits inside the pipe that becomes dislodged during the repairs. If the color is due to line breaks, run the faucet until the water is clear. If the water does not clear within several minutes, call the Water District (281) 469.9405 for assistance.
What is the white build-up on my faucet strainers?
The white build-up is calcium carbonate.
Does Harris County Fresh Water Supply District # 61 fluoridate the water?
No. The District does not add fluoride, although there is fluoride naturally occurring in our drinking water. For facts please refer to our Annual Consumer Confidence Report.
How do you know the water is safe to drink?
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) requires water treatment plants to continuously monitor the turbidity of the water and the chlorine residual at the plant. Chlorine samples are taken on a routine basis and analyzed. In addition, samples are also taken every month at designated locations throughout the District and analyzed for total coliform bacteria. These types of bacteria are naturally present in the environment and are used as an indicator that other potentially harmful bacteria may be present. Should the District detect a coliform bacteria during routine samples, extensive flushing, and disinfection procedures are performed and additional samples are taken and analyzed to ensure that no bacteria exist in the distribution system. When the samples are clear, the distribution system is placed back into normal operation.
WATER UTILITIES LEAK DETECTION
Although most water leaks can be heard or seen, some are difficult to detect. If your water bill is unusually high and you are unable to find any noticeable leaks at faucets, toilets, and outside taps, please give us a call at 281-469-9405 and we can assist with assessing the issue.
Once you have determined there is a leak, you will need to do some troubleshooting to determine the cause. One of the most common places where unnoticeable leaks occur is your toilet. Leaking toilets, even a silent leak, will waste from 30 to 500 gallons of water per day!
If you cannot determine the cause of the leak, or if the leak is not easily fixable. You may need to call a plumber.
The District is responsible for maintaining and operating the entire wastewater collection system by providing preventative maintenance to existing lines, replacing lines as needed, and installing new service connections. It is also responsible for necessary repair, maintenance, and expansion of the wastewater collection system including all wastewater lines, mains, manholes and service connections within the public right-of-way or easements. The District responds to wastewater related emergency calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Human society has progressed through the Ice, Stone, Bronze, and Iron Ages. Sometime during the mid-20th century, we entered the “Disposable Age” where “convenience” became the touchstone, and an increasing number of consumer products were designed to be discarded after a single use. Today, the nonwoven fabric successor to the dampened washcloth-marketed as wet wipes for a variety of different purposes-generates more than $5 Billion for manufacturers in a single year.
There are “wipes” for virtually every household and personal hygiene purpose. The original product was intended as a handy diaper clean-up for babies and young children; meant to be folded into the disposable diaper and discarded in the trash. During the last decade; however, marketers have targeted adults to offer products intended to supplement or replace toilet paper. Convenience and “clean” appear to trump all other purchase motivations. We are suckers for products that promise to save time and money, and still get the job done with little or no effort. Unfortunately, when it comes to supposedly “flushable” wipes, many of these man made fiber products tum out to be nearly indestructible, so they ‘flush down, but they don’t flush out!”
Sewer systems around the world are now teeming with millions of flushed wipes that form monstrous “WIPES-BERGS” when they encounter another sewer enemy that gets carelessly dumped down kitchen sinks -F.O.G. (Fats Oils and Grease). The end result is not only a costly, disgusting mess for wastewater treatment plants but also translates to water and sewer price increases for customers. As an example, in New York City alone the amount of wipes extracted from sewage waste has reached about 1.3 billion cubic feet each year – with a hefty annual price tag of about $3 million. The cost to the city’s taxpayers is even higher; the outlay for wipes-related damages to sewer infrastructure was about $18 million over 5 years.
Water treatment experts are calling this proliferation of flushed wipes a global CRISIS. They are working with product manufacturers to encourage “flushable” content and advertising standards and, at the same time, conducting campaigns to re-educate consumer behavior to promote proper disposal.
FOG Prevention Checklist
Keep the CLOG Mob (Creating Lots of Gunk) from going down the drain and into your pipes is easy. Pouring a little bacon grease down the drain or tossing meat scraps in the garbage disposal may not seem like a big deal, but every little bit adds up and can create major clogs and blockages in sewer lines that are part of the District’s sanitary sewer collection system. Once a line is blocked, wastewater can back up into streets, yards, homes, and streams. If the clog occurs in the sewer lateral, then the clean-up can become the property owner’s responsibility.
- Pour liquid food scraps, e.g. sauces, milkshakes, into a container and place in the trash can
- Pour used oil into a container with a top (the original if available) so it can be reused, recycled, or placed in the trash can for disposal.
- Pour cooled grease into a grease can or other container for disposal and/or absorb with paper towels or newspaper
- Use mesh drain strainers to catch solid food scraps for disposal in a trash can
- Scrape plates over the trash can or dry-wipe with a paper towel
Remember: The drain is not a dump
Grease – Public Enemy Number 1 for Sewer Lines
Grease is the #1 cause of sewer problems. Sewer backups can be greatly reduced if grease is not put down household drains. Grease and cooking oil should be poured into a can or other disposable container and put in the garbage. If all residents would dispose of grease and oil properly, sewer line problems could be reduced. The accumulation of fats, oil, and grease inside sewer pipes is one of the leading causes of sanitary sewer overflows. The disposal of these materials into the sanitary sewer system can eventually restrict the flow in the pipe and cause untreated wastewater to back up into homes and businesses. In addition, manholes can overflow into parks, yards, streets, and storm drains, thus impacting local water quality, including drinking water supplies. Restaurants spend large amounts of money each year to keep their pipes free of fats, oil, and grease. Districts spend large amounts as well to maintain their sanitary sewer systems. Preventing blockages from fats, oil, and grease benefits both the District and its residents. The following list of Do’s and Don’ts will help residents and their neighbors avoid expensive sewer backups, plumbing emergencies, rate increases to cover maintenance and repairs, and help protect water quality in the community.
Properly dispose of or recycle used cooking oil. To dispose of used oil, place the used cooking oil in a sealable container and place it in the trash. To recycle large amounts, from a catfish fry or from frying a turkey, contact a local recycler by looking in the yellow pages. If you have a lot of oil to dispose of, use clay kitty litter. Just mix the litter, a little at a time, into the oil. When all the oil has been absorbed, pour the kitty litter into a trash bag, seal the bag, and then dispose of it in your regular trash.
- Scrape food scraps into the trash, not the sink.
- Use dry paper towels to wipe pots, pans, and dishes before rinsing or washing them.
- Place a catch basket or screen over the sink drain when rinsing dishware or when peeling or trimming food to catch small scraps that would otherwise be washed down the drain. Throw the scraps in the trash or compost pile.
- Rinse dishes and pans with cold water before putting them in the dishwasher. Hot water melts the oil and grease off the dishes and into the sewer pipes. Once in the pipes, the fats, oils, and grease will solidify and clog the lines.
- Don’t use a garbage disposal or food grinder. Grinding food up before rinsing it down the drain does not remove fats, oil, and grease. It just makes the pieces smaller. Even non-greasy food scraps can plug your sewer lines, so it is best not to put food of any kind down the drain.
- Don’t pour cooking oil, pan drippings, bacon grease, salad dressings, or sauces down the sink, toilet, street gutters, or storm drains.
- Don’t use cloth towels or rags to scrape plates or to clean greasy or oily dishware. When you wash them, the grease will end up in the sewer.
- Don’t run water over greasy dishes, pans, fryers, or griddles as this will wash the oil and grease down the drain.
It is a good idea for all property owners and tenants to become familiar with the general layout of their plumbing system. Especially the location of their sewer outlet or cleanout. The outlet/cleanout cover is usually located in the yard and allows easy access to more distant parts of the private sewer line so blockages may be removed. A plumber can help locate sewer outlets/cleanouts.
- Another important issue is to make sure the outlet/cleanout cover is over the opening to prevent rain water and other debris from entering the line.