TCEQ Drought Response for Public Water Systems

Dear Public Water System Official:

Severe drought conditions have returned to Texas, and forecasters are predicting that dry conditions may persist or worsen for the state. With the high use months of summer ahead, public water systems in Texas may start to see a strain on their water supplies. We must take the necessary steps to prevent the loss of drinking water for basic health and safety services. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) is encouraging public water systems to take reasonable measures to increase conservation efforts and identify and secure alternative water supplies to meet potable water needs. Conservation and alternative water supply measures include the following:

  • Implement your Drought Contingency Plan (DCP) at the appropriate stages to reduce consumption
  • Encourage water conservation
  • Implement public education and outreach strategies
  • Measure and track existing water supplies
  • Repair leaks in the distribution system to limit water loss
  • Develop a plan to provide adequate and safe drinking water supplies
  • Report to TCEQ the amount of water supply if it is approaching less than 180 days
  • Timely seek authorizations and funding resources to extend existing supply or obtain new sources
  • Evaluate infrastructure and develop plans to meet needs (e.g. extending intake structures to deeper waters, drilling new wells, etc.)

Your DCP is an important tool in conserving and managing your water supply during difficult times. We encourage you to review your DCP and prepare to implement water use restrictions as appropriate. If the water system you purchase water from has recently implemented restrictions, review your purchase contract and be prepared to implement restrictions, if necessary.

In accordance with TCEQ’s rules in 30 Texas Administrative Code §288.20(b), you are required to notify the TCEQ of any changes to the implementation water use restrictions. TCEQ has developed an on-line form to facilitate a faster reporting of these changes. Information is collected and will be used to focus State resources and assistance:

https://www.tceq.texas.gov/drinkingwater/homeland_security/security_pws

This form should also be used for water supply shortage reporting. Please note that state law also requires water utilities to determine available water supply and report to TCEQ when supply is less than 180 days. This assessment should be based on all current sources (i.e. surface water, groundwater, and purchased treated water through an interconnection). Additional drought information is available at:

http://www.tceq.texas.gov/response/drought

If you don’t have reliable internet access, need help completing the form, or if you have questions, please call our Drought Program Representative in the Water Supply Division at 512-239-4691. The collective cooperation of all public water systems is vital to ensuring public drinking water needs can be sustained during this persistent drought.

Where can you go for more assistance and information?

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has a free assistance program to help your water system address drought or other financial, managerial or technical issues.
For more information about available free assistance, the drought in Texas, and how to report water use restrictions or concerns in your area, please contact the TCEQ’S drought-information hotline at 1-800-447-2827.

Sincerely,

Toby Baker
Executive Director
Texas Commission on Environmental Quality

Click here to read TCEQ letter.

Drought Stage 1 – Notice

Dear Customer:

On June 21, 2022, the City of Houston enacted Stage 1 of the City of Houston’s Drought Contingency Plan. Harris County Water Control and Improvement District No. 96 (the “District”) purchases the majority of its water from the City of Houston. Accordingly, to ensure that an adequate supply of water is available for drinking and bathing, you are hereby notified that Stage One of the Harris County Water Control and Improvement District No. 96 Drought Contingency Plan is now in effect. Stage One includes the following VOLUNTARY water use restrictions:

  1. Irrigation of residential landscaped areas with hose-end sprinklers or automatic irrigation systems shall be limited to Sundays and Thursdays for customers with a street address ending in an even number (0, 2, 4, 6 or 8), and Saturdays and Wednesdays for water customers with a street address ending in an odd number (1, 3, 5, 7 or 9), and irrigation of landscaped areas is further limited to the hours of 12:00 midnight until 10:00 a.m. and between 8:00 p.m. and 12:00 midnight on designated watering days. However, irrigation of residential landscaped areas is permitted at any time if it is by means of a hand-held hose, a faucet filled bucket or watering can of five (5) gallons or less, or drip irrigation system.
  2. Irrigation of green belts, esplanades and sports field shall be limited to Mondays and Fridays between 8:00 p.m. and 12:00 midnight.
  3. Use of water to wash any motor vehicle, motorbike, boat, trailer, airplane or other vehicle is prohibited except on designated watering days between the hours of 12:00 midnight and 10:00 a.m. and between 8:00 p.m. and 12:00 midnight. Such washing, when allowed, shall be done with a hand-held bucket or a hand-held hose equipped with a positive shutoff nozzle for quick rises. Vehicle washing may be done at any time on the immediate premises of a commercial car wash or commercial service station. Further, such washing may be exempted from these regulations if the health, safety, and welfare of the public is contingent upon frequent vehicle cleansing, such as garbage trucks and vehicles used to transport food and perishables.
  4. Use of water to fill, refill, or add to any indoor or outdoor swimming pools, wading pools, or jacuzzi-type pools is prohibited except on designated watering days between the hours of 12:00 midnight and 10:00 a.m. and between 8 p.m. and 12:00 midnight.
  5. Operation of any ornamental fountain or pond for aesthetic or scenic purposes is prohibited except where necessary to support aquatic life or where such fountains or ponds are equipped with a re-circulation system.
  6. Use of water from hydrants shall be limited to firefighting, related activities, or other activities necessary to maintain public health, safety, and welfare, except that use of water from designated fire hydrants for construction purposes may be allowed under special permit from the District.
  7. Use of water for the irrigation of golf course greens, tees, and fairways is prohibited except on designated watering days between the hours 12:00 midnight and 10:00 a.m. and between 8 p.m. and 12:00 midnight. However, if the golf course utilizes a water source other than that provided by the District, the facility shall not be subject to these regulations.
  8. All restaurants are prohibited from serving water to patrons except upon request of the patron.
  9. The following uses of water are defined as non-essential and are prohibited:
    1. wash down of any sidewalks, walkways, driveways, parking lots, tennis courts, or other hard-surfaced areas;
    2. use of water to wash down buildings or structures for purposes other than immediate fire protection;
    3. use of water for dust control;
    4. flushing gutters or permitting water to run or accumulate in any gutter or street; and
    5. failure to repair a controllable leak(s) within a reasonable period after having been given notice directing the repair of such leak(s).

The Board of Directors appreciates your cooperation and perseverance during this Conservation Condition. Once the Conservation Condition ends, we will notify you and you may then return to normal usage. If conditions should worsen, you will be notified of more stringent restrictions, to ensure the availability of water in your community.

Very truly yours,

Board of Directors
Harris County Water Control and
Improvement District No. 96

Boil Water Notice for HCWCID 96 – 2/17/21

You should boil your water at a roiling boil for 2 minutes now out of an abundance of caution. You probably saw the emergency alert with the boil water notice for the City of Houston. We are getting most of our water from our well now but we were supplementing with some water from the City of Houston system. The operators are going out to stop the water from the city system from entering our system now.

The operator believes that it is most likely that our water is safe, although because there is the possibility that some of the City water system water might have been compromised and entered into our system, we must caution you now to boil water for two minutes before drinking if using water you drew from the tap this morning and until you hear otherwise.

The WCID 96 operators have compliance people working to determine if our water system kept enough pressure from the city lines to mean we were not affected. We may be able to lift the boil water notice soon.

In the meantime, please boil water for two minutes before drinking or cooking. If you only have an electric stove, boil some water as soon as power comes back on before it is cut again.

Notice to Customers Harris County WCID 96 Regarding Water and Sewer Billing

PAYMENTS are due on the 12th of each month.
LATE FEES APPLIED BEGINNING ON July 13, 2020
WATER SERVICE TERMINATIONS WILL BEGIN IN August, 2020.

Beginning in March, the Harris County WCID No. 96 Board of Directors voted to suspend late fees and water terminations to help residents and businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. The District will begin applying the 15% LATE FEE on unpaid balances and will resume water service terminations for non-payment. Residents will have until July 12th to make sure their water bill balances are current. If you are unable to pay your water bill, contact us about a payment plan to pay down your balance. To make a payment plan request, contact Customer Care at 832-490-1600.

No Boil Water Advisory for WCID 96

There is currently NO boil water advisory for WCID 96. No boil water advisory has ever been issued for WCID 96 related to the City of Houston water main break.

WCID 96 is a wholesale water customer of the City of Houston and we get much of our water from the City although we also have our own water well. Our system is operated independently from the City of Houston and the WCID 96 operators have been consistently monitoring our system. Our water pressures have remained normal. Our levels of disinfectants and residuals have remained normal. Therefore WCID 96 has not issued a boil water advisory.

As a precaution, WCID 96 is flushing the system by opening up fire hydrants and running water out of the pipes. This operation is planned to turn over the water in the system twice just out of an abundance of caution to clear the system. This may continue through the day and evening on February 28.

Again, WCID 96 has not issued any boil water advisories due to the City of Houston water main break and all testing so far has shown normal water pressures and quality indicating the water is safe to drink.

No advisories have been posted to the web site because there has not been any issue with the water in WCID 96 so far. If there are any advisories issued, they will be posted here.

Water eBilling

In September 2019, Tropical Storm Imelda damaged a United States Postal Service mail processing facility in the Houston area. As a result of the damage residents in Harris County Water Control and Improvement District No. 96 may experience a delay in receiving mail, including a delay in receiving a timely mailed water bill. Harris County Water Control and Improvement District No. 96 encourages residents to authorize electronic billing in order to avoid delays in receiving water bills. More information regarding billing and payment options may be found by visiting https://www.hcwcid96.com/water/.