FAQ – Reclaimed Water Use Program

Where does Fort Bend Municipal Utility District No. 185 get its water now?

Fort Bend Municipal Utility District No. 185 (FBMUD185) has one water well that services its entire area.

Why not just continue to use the well to supply water to FBMUD185?

The well will continue to supply water to FBMUD185. The reclaimed water system will supplement the use of well water in certain HOA common areas within FBMUD185.

The Fort Bend Subsidence District (FBSD) received a mandate from the Texas Legislature to reduce subsidence moving away from groundwater to an alternative supply of water. The FBSD Area A Groundwater Reduction Plan required a reduction of groundwater pumpage of 30% by 2014. A 60% reduction is required by 2025. If not reduced, then the water provider must pay a disincentive fee which greatly raises the cost of groundwater.

The North Fort Bend Water Authority (NFBWA) was set up in response to the legislative mandate to FBSD and is the entity responsible for supplying surface water to areas within its boundaries. NFBWA assesses a groundwater reduction plan fee for the water that is pumped from FBMUD185’s water well, and this fee has been increasing in amount each year for the last several years. The NFBWA and FBMUD185 have entered into an agreement whereby FBMUD185 will receive from NFBWA an annual credit of $0.75 / 1000 gallons for reclaimed water used.

What kind of reclaimed water will be used?

The type of reclaimed water is called type 1 effluent which goes through a stringent treatment process. After being treated in the plant, the water is filtered through a multi-media cloth filter to remove any remaining suspended particles and then dosed with chlorine to sterilize the bacteria and viruses. It is then sent to a 70,000-gallon storage tank where it is contained to keep the water fresh.

Where will the reclaimed water be used?

The water will be used for landscape irrigation for certain HOA common areas within King Lakes and Marshall Oaks.

Is this reclaimed water safe to drink?

This is not potable or drinking water. While it meets many of the standards for potable water it does not meet all of them.

How does the public know that this is reclaimed water?

All reclaimed water distribution lines and sprinkler heads are colored purple for identification and are separate from the potable drinking water system. Also, for public safety, there are to be posted signs in the areas being irrigated by the reclaimed water.

How much water will be saved by this reuse program?

Ultimately, approximately 25 million gallons of water per year in FBMUD185 used for irrigation will come from the reclaimed water system and not from the water well.

If the water was not reclaimed, what would happen to it?

Presently it is sent into Buffalo Bayou/Barker Reservoir rather than being reused.

What is the cost for this “reclaimed” water program?

The construction cost of the reclaimed water system is approximately $1.4 Million.

How is this project paid for?

Bonds have been sold to pay for the wastewater treatment plant upgrades and the reclaimed water distribution system.

Will there be a need to increase taxes or water rates for using reclaimed water?

There will be no tax increase or water rate increase due to the implementation of the reclaimed water system.

Will pharmaceuticals be in the water?

There is the possibility there are traces of very low concentrations of pharmaceuticals in the water that were taken and passed through from the residents of the community. However, these concentrations are very low and meet all regulations mandated by the Texas Commission of Environmental Quality.

What if my dog drinks water from a sprinkler head?

There should be no problem because of the standard of treatment to the water.