What are the different charges on my water bill?

WCID 114’s current water bill charges for up to 15,000 gallons monthly usage- $74.85, which is comprised of the following:

Water – $16.25
  • Base rate for up to 10,000 gallons is $10.00
  • Usage above 10,000 gallons is charged an additional $1.25 per 1000 gallons usage – $6.25
Sewer – $10.00
  • Flat fee per month
North Harris County Regional Water Authority (NHCRWA) – $48.60

NHCRWA is a governmental entity created by the Texas Legislature and charged with the responsibility to help reduce subsidence.  WCID 114 is required to purchase the majority of its water from NHCRWA, which currently comes from Lake Houston. While currently NHCRWA charges WCID 114 $4.05 per 1,000 gallons of usage (the rate may change each year), WCID 114 subsidizes 20% of this cost, charging its customers currently $3.24 per 1,000 gallons used.

For more information about the NHCRWA, please visit their website at www.nhcrwa.com.

Important Notice: Elevated Levels of Arsenic Detected in Harris County WCID 114’s Water Supply – No Immediate Risk

PWS ID NO. TX1010317
September 30, 2023

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has notified the HARRIS COUNTY WCID 114 TX1010317 that the drinking water being supplied to customers had exceeded the Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) for arsenic.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) has established the MCL for arsenic to be 0.010 milligrams per liter (mg/L) based on running annual average (RAA), and has determined that it is a health concern at levels above the MCL.  Analysis of drinking water in your community for arsenic indicates a compliance value in quarter two 2023 of 0.013 mg/L for EP003 (Water Plant No.3).

This is not an emergency.  However, some people who drink water containing arsenic in excess of the MCL over many years could experience skin damage or problems with their circulatory system, and may have an increased risk of getting cancer.

You do not need to use an alternative water supply.  However, if you have health concerns, you may want to talk to your doctor to get more information about how this may affect you.

We are taking the following actions to address this issue:

  • The District’s water well from which the elevated levels of arsenic has been detected has not been used as part of the District’s water supply prior to or since the exceedance has occurred.

Please share this information with all people who drink this water, especially those who may not have received this notice directly (i.e., 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.

If you have questions regarding this matter, you may contact Eagle Water Management at 281-374-8989.

Why We Are Required to Use Surface Water: Subsidence

A recent University of Houston report shows parts of the Cypress Creek watershed in the Spring area have experienced significant subsidence, which can worsen flooding and change drainage patterns, as well as cause damage to property, pipes and roads. As of 2021, an average of 4.2 feet of land sinking has occurred in Spring over the last century, with most of the land movement occurring since 1987. This subsidence is due to population growth and development and the resultant pumping of groundwater from the area’s aquifers (large, underground water-bearing rock), which compacts sublayers of clay and silt in those aquifers. Today, about 70% of water usage in northern Harris County comes from groundwater pumped from the Gulf Coast Aquifer System.

To prevent subsidence from worsening in northwest Harris County, the North Harris County Regional Water Authority (NHCRWA) treats Lake Houston water and turns it into drinking water for municipal utility districts, including Harris County WCID 114 (the District). The NHCRWA is required to reduce groundwater pumpage to no more than 40% of the area’s total water usage by 2025. In this regard, the NHCRWA is in the midst of a $1.4 billion expansion to its Water Purification Plant in Humble which, upon completion in 2024, will increase treated water capacity from 80 million gallons per day to 400 million gallons per day.

But construction, maintenance and operation of NHCRWA’s treatment and distribution facilities don’t come cheaply: By far the largest part of your monthly water bill is to reimburse the District for the cost of water delivered to it by the NHCRWA. And the District doesn’t have a choice—it is mandated by law to use surface water provided by NHCRWA which, in the long run helps reduce subsidence but, in the short run, is hard on our wallets.