Water Rate Increase Set for April 1, 2021

North Harris County Regional Water Authority
Amended Rate Order and Updated Pricing Policy

The North Harris County Regional Water Authority Board of Directors at its regular monthly Board meeting held on February 1, 2021 adopted the Amended Rate Order. The Authority’s Amended Rate Order document is posted on the website at www.nhcrwa.org.

Please consider this letter as a reminder of actions that were taken by the Authority board at its regular monthly Board meeting held on December 7, 2020. The Authority board conducted a Budget Workshop on November 23, 2020, and a Public Hearing on December 7, 2020 to review and discuss the possibility of increasing the Authority’s well pumpage fee and the cost of surface water. At its regular meeting on December 7, the Board adopted an increase of the current well pumpage fee from $4.25 per 1,000 gallons and $4.60 per 1,000 gallons and an increase in the cost of surface water from $4.70 per 1,000 gallons to $5.05 per 1,000 gallons. These new rates will become effective as of April 1, 2021.

Relevant documents and links:

 

February 17, 2021 Emergency Update

Due to inclement weather, low water pressure may be experienced. At this time NO BOIL WATER NOTICE is in effect for Northwest Harris County MUD No. 5. The District is not receiving water from the City of Houston.

For future updates return to this web site.

Please report any problems to www.mdswater.com/report-a-problem .

Hurricane Laura Information

The National Weather Service is projecting a category 3 hurricane, Laura, to make landfall sometime late Wednesday or early Thursday along the Texas coast between Freeport and the Texas-Louisiana border.
Based on these projections, we urge all residents to secure any loose items; bring garbage cans in off the street; clear any drains on or near your property of trash can lids, floating bags, grass clippings, limbs, and leaves; and move cars to higher ground in order to try and prevent storm drains from getting clogged and vehicles/property from being damaged.

For additional information and future updates, please visit the National Weather Service.

For Hurricane Preparedness resources, please visit www.mdswater.com/hurricane-preparedness.

 

COVID-19 Update

An Update from NWHC MUD 5 operator, MDS, on COVID-19

Dear Directors & Residents,

During this unprecedented time, we want to assure you that Municipal District Services is committed to its mission of providing safe drinking water, reliable sewer service, and to continue as a responsible environmental steward.

MDS and its employees have been identified as essential personnel and work in a critical infrastructure sector. On March 16th, the President issued updated Coronavirus Guidance for America. The guidance states that, “If you work in a critical infrastructure industry, as defined by the Department of Homeland Security… you have a special responsibility to maintain your normal work schedule.” Though the guidance is advisory in nature, it is clear that MDS and its employees who ensure continued operations of water and wastewater systems are essential employees.

With that in mind, we wanted to share some details about how MDS is performing during this national crisis:

Monitoring
MDS is actively monitoring COVID-19 developments and policy changes issued by federal, state, and local governments. Additionally, in an effort to protect water operations and worker safety, we closely follow regulations and recommendations issued by the World Health Organization, the Center for Disease Control, and public health authorities.

Social Distancing
MDS has made changes to our standard operating procedures to ensure proper social distancing to keep COVID-19 from spreading. We have moved employees within our offices to new locations to reduce contact and increase the space between people. Through our investment in newly adopted technology, our call center is fully operational with Customer Care Representatives able to take calls from the safety of their homes.

Reduced Gatherings
We have eliminated large company meetings and have reduced most face-to-face meetings involving even just a few employees. But, the critical work of MDS continues as usual – we are using technology to collaborate effectively and ensure our daily operations are not disrupted. In an effort to contain the virus spread and remain productive, most administrative staff are working from home.

Communications
MDS has taken a proactive role in keeping our customers and fellow MUD industry colleagues updated amid rapid changes. We have posted regular updates to both our Facebook page and our web site, including the launch of dedicated COVID-19 Response page. We have also partnered with fellow regional operations companies to form the Gulf Coast MUD Emergency Operations Group (GCM-EOG). The purpose of this group is to ensure the dissemination of accurate information to all those in the region responsible for operating the water and wastewater infrastructure.

We are in the process of posting signage at the facilities we manage (Water Plants, Wastewater Treatment Plants, Lift Stations, etc.) stating PPE and hand washing requirements for all who access the facilities. This message has been reiterated to our vendors, contractors, and fellow consultants via a letter reinforcing the measures we have enacted.

Future Actions
This situation is continually evolving. We are reviewing data, employee concerns, and customer concerns on a daily basis. As conditions change, we will reassess our policies and guidelines and update them as necessary to ensure that MDS continues to protect customers and our employees, who are critical to providing these essential services.

To reiterate, everyone here at MDS is united and focused on the same goal of providing safe drinking water and reliable sewer service to all of your customers. While these times may not be exactly business as usual, we are hard at work, getting the job done.

Wishing Good Health to You and Your Families,

Bryan Chapline, Rebecca Marcucci, Ken Love

Best Trash Update

Currently trash & recycle services will continue as normal.

Please refrain from generating additional heavy trash, such as cleaning garages, closets, extra yard work, etc.  Due to extra volumes, trash is extremely heavy and our routes are running later than normal.  Please be patient as we are doing our best to get all trash collected.

*COVID-19 UPDATE-PLEASE BAG ALL TRASH*

In response to the continuing effects of the Coronavirus and in observance of our employee’s safety, we are asking that all waste be placed in plastic bags and tied off to avoid any need for direct contact with the garbage.

Please continue to place your recycling loose in your container. Please break down all boxes and reduce in size as much as possible.  If you exceed the capacity of the container, please bag and place with trash.  However, if anyone in your household is exhibiting symptoms of any transmissible illness, please place recyclables in plastic bags and dispose of with your regular garbage.

Please do not call the office.  Go to website www.best-trash.com for updates or contact customerservice@besttrashtexas.com

Coronavirus: Toilet paper panic trickle-down effect

Please do NOT flush wet wipes, tissue or heavy paper towels

Experts are warning that the panic run on toilet paper could lead to much bigger waste problems than we realize.

With toilet paper in short supply due to the panic buying in response to COVID-19, some researchers warn there’s a risk that toilet paper alternatives such as wet wipes, tissue, napkins and paper towels may lead to another major “monster” waste issues in YOUR sewer houseline and the District’s collection system!

With supermarket shelves wiped bare of toilet paper, water infrastructure experts fear that the use of toilet paper alternatives such as wet wipes, napkins and thicker paper could lead to major blockages in our water and sewage systems.

Some water utilities have already spent hundreds of thousands of dollars removing wet wipes from the collection systems, lift pumps and at sewage treatment plants. These products can create blockages of fat, sanitary items and wet wipes that block pipes and pumps and cause an added expense to remove.

Please do not flush wet wipes or heavy paper towels and properly dispose of them by throwing them in the trash.

Defined Irrigation Schedule and Water Use Policy

Northwest Harris County Municipal Utility District No.5 (the“District”) has adopted a Defined Irrigation Schedule and Water Use Policy for residents of the District. This policy is intended to reduce irrigation during certain times of the day to reduce “peak” usage while providing customers with adequate water for landscaping. Irrigation is recommended only three days per week.

Residential Irrigation Schedule

Recommended Schedule

Even Addresses (Ending in 0, 2, 4, 6, 8): Monday, Wednesday, or Friday

Odd Addresses (Ending in 1, 3, 5, 7, 9): Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday

 

Northwest Harris County MUD No. 5 has upgraded to SMART water meters with cellular communication capabilities. Learn how to sign up and gain access to your water usage by visiting: www.mdswater.com/smartmeter

  • Secure access to your personal water usage data
  • Greater control of how much water you use (and pay for) by reviewing your personal water usage
  • Set up alerts to notify you when you may have a leak
  • Data available via web browser or phone app

PDF document of this notice – Irrigation Schedule and Eye On Water Sign Up Flyer

Our Water System is Smarter!

SMART METERS ARE HERE!

Sign up today for the free Eye on Water app to get all of the benefits!

NW MUD 5 has installed and retrofitted all of its existing meters to “Smart Meters” using cell phone technology with daily updates of water usage.  The new “Eye on Water” app will allow the District and customers to monitor daily usage, save water, and receive notifications of excessive water usage based on the customer defined parameters. The notification could indicate a broken pipe, irrigation system malfunction, or leak. The Smart Meter app will be compatible with your PC, Tablet, or Smart Phone. To see an example of the “Eye on Water” report, click here.  This automation will eliminate the need to manually read your meters every month!

Please open this document and see how this system works. (PDF)

 

Trail Plans Announced

Commissioner Jack Cagle reviews the trail plans with Directors Larry Milberger &  Charles Fischer and with Katie Golzarri, the Landscape Architecture with Clark Condon.   As soon as all the County approvals are received, we will issue a request for proposal (RFP) to bid the project. Construction should begin in early 2020.

See complete information on the Trails System here.

NWHCMUD5 RECYLING PROGRAM

In February 2019 two members of your five member MUD board toured the Independent Texas Recycling (ITR) facility which receives our recyclables via our collection contractor, Best Trash. ITR processes close to 200 million pounds of material per year. We learned many things some of which I will elaborate on in this memorandum but first some congratulations are due. Our recyclable material is some of the best received by ITR, containing only about 15% non recyclable material. This allows ITR to run more efficiently and process greater amounts of material on a daily basis. Great Job NWHCMUD5 residents!

When we supply high quality recyclables we allow ITR to run more efficiently, allowing them to hold down their operating costs. Prices fluctuate widely for recyclables. When the prices they are receiving for recyclables are high ITR increases profits but they can still break even when prices are lower. This in turn holds down the price that we as a MUD district have to pay for the pickup of our trash and recyclable materials. Think of recycling as a partnership between NWHCMUD5, Best Trash, and ITR that saves natural resources and helps keep the environment cleaner for all of us.

As I mentioned above the prices ITR receives for the recyclable material vary widely. What is physically recyclable may not be financially recyclable, depending on proximity to buyers. At this time cups, plates, packaging, and any other items made from styrene and styrofoam are not financially recyclable and simply end up in the landfill. These items should be placed in your trash can rather than in your recycle bin. Please recycle plastic bags at your local grocery store or place them in your trash. Plastic bags clog the recycling equipment causing downtime. They eventually end up in the landfill. Other non recyclables include both steel and plastic coat hangers. They are also major contributors to equipment downtime. Garden hoses, household batteries, mirror glass, light bulbs, and clothing are not recyclable.

The best materials to recycle are aluminum cans, plastic milk jugs, plastic bottles, newspaper, cardboard, and any other type of plastic container. Second tier recyclables are glass, mixed paper, waxed paper milk/juice containers, and steel cans. If possible, flatten all cardboard, cereal, and other types of boxes. This allows material to go through the recycling process more efficiently and lessens contamination during the pickup and transportation process.

Let’s continue to be good Recyclers by keeping our recyclables as free of contamination as possible. This will allow NWHCMUD5 to hold down fees and taxes. For more information visit www.nwmud5.com (Waste & Recycling tab) which contains a link to Best Trash for more recycling information.