The district is currently evaluating the feasibility of building a water reuse system to provide a new source of water for irrigation in common areas such as parks and esplanades. Currently, treated water leaves our wastewater treatment plant and flows in to Dry Creek, then in to Cypress Creek. The re-use system would divert a portion of that outflow to a plant for further treatment. That water then would be delivered to area irrigation systems via a new, total separate system of pipes.
Water Reuse FAQ
Why is the district considering a water reuse system?
A couple of reasons:
- Cost Savings
- All water suppliers in the area are required to stop using ground water and start using surface water. Currently all our water currently comes from water wells (ground water) located in and around Coles Crossing. The district part of North Harris County Regional Water Authority (RWA), which is in the processes of building a system to bring Lake Houston (surface water) to our district. You may have noticed the RWA fee on your water bill. That fee is collected by the district, but it is passed through straight to the RWA. The fee has been increasing significantly over the last few years and is expected to continue to increase. The fee is based on how much water in pumped from the ground. Since the reused water is not being pumped from the ground, that fee does not apply.
- Currently, the RWA is providing credits for reusing water. So not only will the end user not pay the RWA fee on irrigation water, the district will receive a credits for generating reused water.
- Freshwater is scarce, and a growing population is putting more demands on existing supplies. Managing water use thru conservation, alternatives sources, etc. is part of what water suppliers charged with doing.
- Using reused water helps keep a portion of water costs under district control not RWA control.
Is it safe?
Yes. The district is only considering Type I reused (reclaimed) water. With the exception potable water, Type I is the cleanest, most treated of the reclaimed water types. This link to the TCEQ provided more details. Our water will be treated to meet or exceed all federal and state guidelines and will be tested regularly to ensure those guidelines are met.
Are we going to be drinking/bathing/washing reused water?
No. This system will only provide water to irrigation systems. It will have its own set of pipes that have no physical connection to current water pipes suppling water to our homes.
Is this going to save me money?
Indirectly Yes; Directly No. We expect to be saving the HOA’s 45-55% on their water bills, which is a significant amount as they are our largest water users.
How is this going to be paid for? Is this going to cause an increase in my water bill or property taxes?
The financing is still a work in progress since the design and final cost are still in progress. However; our current model has the system paid for by the district upfront, then 100% of those costs recouped over the next several years from irrigation user’s fees and RWA credits. Our plan is to have this system in place with no tax rate increase and no change to residential water bills.
This sounds great. Can I get reused water for my home irrigation system?
Currently, we are not planning on make that available. A large cost of this system is the distribution system, the pipes to get the water to the sprinkler systems. Running pipes to the common area is a big project, running pipes to every house is a much larger much more expensive undertaking. As we move along in the design, this may change, but it is not expected to.
Are the HOA’s begin forced to use reused water?
No. We have had preliminary talks with Coles Crossing and The Park at Arbodale HOAs about this system. There are still details to be worked out, but at this point, they both are interesting proceeding with the process.