Northampton has four fresh water supply wells. Wells #1 & #2 (numbered in order of installation) are located behind the MUD building in the front of the subdivision. Well #3 is located on the west side of Northcrest just South of the Willow Creek Golf Course. The newest well, Well #4, is located east of Gosling Rd at the newly constructed water plant on the east side of Gosling Road, about .25 miles south of W Rayford Rd (behind the Shell station).
- Well #1 – Drilled April 1968, 843 ft. depth, Evangeline Aquifer, with 710,000 gallon ground storage tank.
- Well #2 – Drilled July 1972, 1612 ft. depth, Jasper Aquifer, with 400,000 gallon ground storage tank.
- Well #3 – Drilled November 1988, 980 ft. depth, Evangeline Aquifer, with 295,000 gallon ground storage tank.
- Well #4 – Drilled November 2015, 1100 ft depth, Evangeline Aquifer, with 500,00 gallon elevated storage tank.
In 2018, Northampton MUD pumped 345,317,000 gallons of water from its three wells. The average pumpage in winter months was 552,352 per day and the average in summer months was 1,296,312 per day.
Each water plant, the wastewater treatment plant, and all wastewater lift stations are equipped with their own electric generators powered by either diesel or natural gas engines that kick-in automatically if the CenterPoint power grid fails.
Water is a precious commodity. Your municipal utility district, Northampton MUD, pumps from groundwater aquifers that are sustainable only by rainfall. Water levels in the aquifers drop each year. As a result we have to lower the well intake screens every 5 years or so, in order to reach the water. By the year 2035, Northampton will most likely be depending on surface water as its main source.
District water rates are not set to make a profit…….only set to recover the operating costs of getting it out of the ground, treating it and making it available to you. However, the District does use a rate scale to encourage water conservation. The less water the homeowner uses, the lower the rate as measured by gallons per month. Another way of saying it…..the more water the homeowner uses, the higher the rate. NH MUD water rates have not increased since 2013, although the cost of making it available has continued to rise.
In addition to the District charges on our water bill are the charges by the North Harris County Regional Water Authority (NHCRWA), which law requires we collect for them. The NHCRWA is responsible for planning and building the infrastructure for present and future surface water use so it will be accessible (to Northampton included) in 2035! It may seem that we are paying for nothing, but that is not the case. As the demand for water increases and the infrastructure enlarges to meet those needs, the NHCRWA rates will continue to increase.
Measuring Water Use With Meters
Meters record the amount of water that flows through them by mechanical means, using a “paddle”, somewhat similar to a turnstile. When meters start failing, water under pressure gets by the paddle and meters under-report. Never do they over-report (report more water than actually flowed through). High meter readings are a direct measure of increased use, and that can be due to either voluntary habits or to leaks.
Responsibility Of Homeowners
Residents are responsible for all water usage on the homeowner’s side of the meter, so it behooves every resident to do everything possible to not waste water, to find and stop all leaks, and to lower their water bill.
Here are some suggestions to help:
Be proactive. Look for running/dripping faucets, dripping water hoses, broken water pipes, irrigation leaks such as broken sprinkler heads, and running toilets…usually due to flapper valves.
Remember, broken pipes can be located between the meter and your house and even under your slab.
Have someone monitor, looking for leaks, especially your irrigation, while you are on vacation. Show them where the water shut off valve to your house is located.
See below for a do-it-yourself guideline for locating leaks.
Remember, it’s very easy to not realize how much more water you use when it is during a drought period.
DIY Check For Water Leaks
If you are experiencing high water usage, and Hayes, our water utility operator, reports you may have a leak on your service line or in your house, you may want to troubleshoot before you call a plumber. And if you do contact a plumber, please provide these instructions for testing.
To Establish If You Have A Leak On Your Service Line
Shut off the water service valve where it enters the house. Instruct everyone in the house to NOT turn on any faucets or flush any toilets during this phase of the test. Also shut off the water supply to the sprinkler system.
Check the meter. Use caution when opening the meter box. Snakes have been known to visit the area. If there is water standing in the meter box, and it has not rained recently, you may want to call Water District Management at 281-376-8802.
If the clock face dial hand is moving, while the house and sprinkler system is shut off, there is a water leak between the meter and the house. Most meters have a small spinner in the middle of the dial making it easier to see when there is water flow….analogous to a second hand on a watch. If the spinner is moving, it confirms there is water flow through the meter and there is a water leak between the meter and the house.
If there is no flow of water, there is no leak between the meter and the house
If There Is No Leak Between The Meter And The House, Check Your Toilets For A Silent Leak
Open the water service valve to the house. Check for flow. If all faucets are closed and no toilets are being flushed, and there is flow, a toilet may be leaking.
- Close all valves to toilets. Don’t ignore toilets that are not used often. They are the most likely to have a silent leak.
- If there continues to be flow indicated by the meter, first check all faucets, inside and out. Again, make sure to check all areas inside and out that you don’t use often. You may want to call a plumber to investigate further.
- If there is now no meter flow, most likely, a toilet was leaking.
- Turn on each toilet individually to see if a flow starts. If it does, that toilet may be the source. Shut off the toilet and continue to check each toilet.
NOTE: Even when there is “no flow” you can still have a silent leak. Flappers are the most likely part of your toilet to wear out first. A defective flapper can lose water at a rate that very slowly lowers the tank level to the extent that it may take several hours for the level to drop low enough to trigger the tank to replenish itself. Long story short, for this test to determine this type of leak, you may need to wait several hours for the tank replenishing to happen. A quick, easy and inexpensive way to eliminate the possibility of a silent toilet leak is to simply replace all of the flappers in your house.
(Tip -Take your old flapper(s) with you to the supply store so you are sure to get the same type.)
If You Have A Sprinkler System
- Shut off the water service valve where it enters the house. If there is no meter flow, open the valve to the sprinkler system (do not activate the sprinkler system, just open the water supply to the system). If the meter now indicates a flow then there may be leak in the supply line to the sprinkler, a valve to each circuit, (or in the case of automatic sprinklers, a solenoid valve to each circuit), or a combination of any. If so, you may want to call a plumber or a landscape irrigation company to investigate further.
It is the utility district’s desire for each resident to use as little water as possible, and for each to get the full benefit of what is paid for. So with that said, please always heed the red flag warning of a high water bill and act promptly to resolve the issue.
This information is provided as a public service of your Northampton Municipal District (MUD).