Winterization Tips

With freezing weather predicted to occur over the next several days in the Houston area, it’s time to protect your pipes!  As many people found out in February 2021 during Winter Storm Uri, when a severe storm occurs and you haven’t made adequate preparations, the results can be disastrous.  When water inside a pipe freezes, it expands.  The resulting pressure can cause the pipe to burst.  A few simple steps now can save you a lot of money later.  The District recommends the following:

  • Insulate any and all pipes that are exposed to cold air. Hardware and building supply stores sell pipe insulation materials that are easy to install.  If you use electric heat tape, be sure it is UL listed and that any extension cords are properly grounded.
  • Winterize your irrigation system by closing the main irrigation valve, draining the system, and wrapping the backflow preventer and any above-ground pipes and valves with insulation.
  • Drain any standing water from outdoor faucets and hoses and wrap with insulation.
  • If the temperature is expected to stay below freezing for several hours, it’s a good idea to cut off the water to your home and drain the pipes.
  • Many water lines are installed behind cabinets and in the attic. Keeping the doors to cabinets, closets, and the attic open during the coldest periods may allow your interior heat to help protect the pipes. IF YOU LEAVE CABINETS OPEN, PLEASE REMOVE ANY CLEANING SUPPLIES OR CHEMICALS TO KEEP CHILDREN OR PETS FROM GETTING TO THEM!
  • If you plan to be away for several days during expected freezing weather, don’t turn off your heat. Keeping the air in the 60s will help keep your pipes warm.  Better yet, cut off the water to your home and drain the pipes.

Smart Meter / EyeOnWater

Smart Meters

The Harris County MUD 501 Board recently completed the replacement of all water meters in the District with new ultrasonic smart meters. These meters will allow customers to monitor their water consumption on a daily basis through the Eye On Water website portal or mobile app, which may assist you with the detection of waters leaks and understanding how much water is used during irrigation and with other heavy water use activities.

Getting Started

In order to access the new smart meter tools, you first need to create a new Eye On Water account and register your smart meter. Visit https://eyeonwater.com to access the online portal or to download the mobile app. When creating the account, you will need your zip code and water service account number exactly as shown on your water bill.

Using Eye On Water

The Eye On Water portal and mobile app can help you review your water usage on a daily basis, assist with the detection of water leaks, and even allow you to set up automated leak detection alerts. For more information on viewing your water usage and setting up leak alerts, please view the videos below.

Need Assistance?

If you have any further questions or need assistance regarding your new smart meter or the Eye On Water website portal or mobile app, please contact the MUD 501 operator, Environmental Development Partners, at (832) 467-1599.

Association of Water Board Directors Conference

Harris County MUD 501 (MUD 501) Board President, Wayne Tyson, and Board Secretary, DeBra Edwards, attended the 2021 Association of Water Board Directors Annual Conference in San Antonio, Texas on June 17-20, 2021 in-person. They enjoyed a unique conference experience with seminars from world-leading thinkers in water operations. The opportunity to hear industry experts explain new trends to help districts reach new heights was extraordinary. Winter Storm Uri was a hot topic. Ways to communicate with residents without the benefit of electricity was a great lesson learned. Information regarding Tax Rates in the Age of Senate Bill 2 was also very informative.

One of the most exciting moments was when MUD 501 was recognized a 2020-2021 Water Smart Partner! Water Smart is a public awareness campaign for water conservation sponsored by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the Texas Water Development Board. Its message is simple: every citizen, no matter what age or where they live, has a personal responsibility to use water wisely. For more information about the Water Smart program, please visit http://awbd-tx.org/wp/water-smart.

Stay tuned for exciting events sponsored by MUD 501!

Smart Meter Update

The installation of the smart meters throughout MUD 501 is anticipated to be complete by the middle of April. Following the meter installation, MUD 501’s operator will perform meter comparison testing, which is anticipated to be completed by the end of May.

Barring any unforeseen issues, the MUD 501 Board anticipates that the smart meter function will be activated sometime during late June or July. The “Eye on Water” Internet portal and smart meter app will to released to MUD 501 residents at that time, which will allow residents to sign up to monitor their water usage in near real-time, and to set up automated leak detection alerts.

The MUD 501 Board hopes to host an open house in June or July regarding the smart meters, including how to sign up for and use the “Eye on Water” Internet portal and app, and this information will be posted on our website at that time. We expect to host this event as an online event, but also hope to offer an in person option depending on any pandemic restrictions in place at the time. Any questions dealing with the smart meters and the “Eye on Water” Internet portal and app will be answered at the open house.

Additional information will be forthcoming as soon as a firm time line is established.

Boil Water Notice Rescinded

On February 17, 2021, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality required the Harris County MUD No. 501 public water system, PWS ID TX1013403, to issue a Boil Water Notice to inform customers, individuals, or employees that due to conditions which occurred recently in the public water system, the water from this public water system was required to be boiled prior to use for drinking water or human consumption purposes.

The public water system has taken the necessary corrective actions to restore the quality of the water distributed by this public water system used for drinking water or human consumption purposes and has provided TCEQ with laboratory test results that indicate that the water no longer requires boiling prior to use as of 2/22/2021.

If you have questions concerning this matter, you may contact the District’s operator, Environmental Development Partners at 832-467-1599 or toll free at 1-866-467-1599.

So, what do I do after the Boil Water advisory has been lifted? Some guidance is available at https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/watersystemrepair.html and https://houstonemergency.org/wp-content/uploads/Boil-Water-Notice-2292020.pdf.

Harris County MUD 500 Master – Water Supply Update

The Harris County MUD 500 Master District Service Area, including Harris County MUD Nos. 500, 501, 502, and 503, remain under a boil water advisory at this time.

As you may have heard, the City of Houston has lifted its boil water advisory. The City supplies potable water to the West Harris County Regional Water Authority (Authority), which in turn supplies water to the Master District. The Authority and the Master District now are taking the steps necessary to lift their respective boil water advisories, including water sampling.

If the results are satisfactory, the Authority and the Master District may be able to lift their boil water advisories this evening or tomorrow, February 23rd. We will provide updated information as soon as it is available.

Harris County MUD 500 – Master District Water Supply Update

Harris County MUD 500, as Master District, heard from the West Harris County Regional Water Authority (Authority) this morning that the Authority is beginning to receive surface water from the City of Houston and expect to begin delivery sometime later today. The Towne Lake Community, including Harris County MUD 500, as Master District (which supplies water to HC MUD Nos. 500, 501, 502, and 503), and Harris County MUD 172 are at the top of the priority list to start receiving surface water as soon as it’s available.

As you may have seen on the news, the City of Houston, which provides the surface water to the Authority, currently remains on a boil water advisory, and the Master District likely will need to remain on a boil water advisory until approximately 24 hours after the City lifts its advisory. Currently, the City is estimating that its advisory will be lifted on Monday. If that occurs, the Master District may be able to lift the boil water advisory on Tuesday. We will provide additional information as it becomes available.

Boil Water Notice for Community Public Water Systems

Harris County MUD No. 500 – TX1013390
Harris County MUD No. 501 – TX1013403
Harris County MUD No. 502 – TX1013494

Harris County Municipal Utility District No. 500, as Master District, provides the potable (drinking) water supply to the Towne Lake Master District Service Area, including Harris County Municipal Utility District Nos. 500, 501 and, 502. Due to reduced system pressure, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has required the Master District’s public water system to notify all customers to boil their water prior to consumption (e.g., washing hands/face, brushing teeth, drinking, etc). Children, seniors, and persons with weakened immune systems are particularly vulnerable to harmful bacteria, and all customers should follow these directions).

To ensure destruction of all harmful bacteria and other microbes, water for drinking, cooking, and ice making should be boiled and cooled prior to use for drinking water or human consumption purposes. The water should be brought to a vigorous rolling boil and then boiled for two minutes.

In lieu of boiling, individuals may purchase bottled water or obtain water from some other suitable source for drinking water or human consumption purposes.

When it is no longer necessary to boil the water, the public water system officials will notify customers that the water is safe for drinking water or human consumption purposes.

Once the boil water notice is no longer in effect, the public water system will issue a notice to customers that rescinds the boil water notice in a manner similar to this notice.

Please share this information with all the other people who drink this water, especially those who may not have received this notice directly (for example, people in apartments, nursing homes, schools, and businesses). You can do this by posting this notice in a public place or distributing copies by hand or mail.

The Master District respectfully requests that customers conserve water by reducing all unnecessary water usage, including dripping of faucets, and isolate and shut off any leaking pipes promptly.

If you have questions concerning this matter, you may contact the Master District’s operator, Environmental Development Partners, at 832-467-1599 or customerservice@edpwater.com. This problem was caused by the unprecedented winter storm. Once conditions return to
normal, we will post the appropriate notice.