July 12, 2016

Contact: Jessica Beemer (832) 393-3008
Council Member Martin Responds to Kingwood Water Quality Concerns

Houston, TX -  Over the past several days, Council Member Dave Martin and staff have been working proactively with Severn Trent Services and the City's Public Works and Engineering Department to address discolored water issues in Kingwood.
According to both entities, the brown water is a result of increased water demand and turning on additional ground water wells.   The increased demand and additional wells increased water velocity in some areas and changed flow direction in other areas, disturbing sediments and causing the water to take on color. 
Please remember:
  • The water in Kingwood comes from wells, which are naturally cleaner than lake water, however this means it is also rich in minerals such as iron and manganese, which if stirred up by changes in water flow, main breaks or water hammer can cause the color issues.
  • The water from the wells is crystal clear and tested daily.  The water from the storage tanks is also crystal clear and tested daily in accordance with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality's (TCEQ) rules and regulations.
  • The water color has been only found in the transmission mains, and tests find it to be within the legal limits.
  • Severn Trent flushes dead-end lines every month to prevent buildup of sediments in the pipes at 100 locations in Kingwood. As in the past week, Severn Trent also increases flushing on an as-needed basis to remove discolored water from the system.

When these types of issues occur it is extremely important for them to be reported to Houston 3-1-1 directly. If the cases of discolored water are not reported to 3-1-1 there is no other way for the City of Houston to be aware of the issue. You may report discolored water and other issues by calling (713) 837-0311. Please visit the Houston 3-1-1 website to view alternative ways to report concerns to Houston 3-1-1, including the Houston 3-1-1 cell phone app.

To facilitate removing the sediment from your household plumbing, turn on the COLD water in a tub and allow it to run until it is clear.  Flushing the hose bib outside of your home will not clear your internal plumbing.  Running hot water may allow the sediment to build up in your water heater.
As of today, all of the distribution water mains are clear of all colored water. If customers continue to see issues, they are encouraged to first flush their lines for 15 minutes. If the problem persists, customers should contact the City's 311 Service Help Line (713) 837-0311 or call Council Member Dave Martin's Office at (832) 393-3008.