Southlake Water Utilities Announces Utility Rate Changes to Take Effect October 2020

Sewer, garbage and recycling rate changes will go into effect on October 1, 2020, for all Southlake Water Utilities customers. Residents will notice the increase on November billing statements.

Sewer Rate Change

This year, the Trinity River Authority (TRA) Board of Directors voted to approve rate increases for sewer treatment at both Denton Creek and Central Regional wastewater plants. As a result, Southlake Water Utilities will be passing the 2% increase on to Southlake customers. The Trinity River Authority supplies sewer treatment to 98% of Tarrant County, including, Southlake.

The maximum residential sewer charge Southlake customers will see is $74.78 per month. This will take effect on October 1, 2020, and the increase will be reflected on the November billing statements.

Refuse Rate Change

The new refuse rates—reflected on Southlake Water Utility bills for residential customers, will increase by 2.6%. This increase is lower than the annual increase Republic Services may request under the contract agreement the City has with Republic Services.

Residential collections will increase by $0.42 on October 1, 2020. Commercial collections and roll-off rates will increase by three percent on October 1 in accordance with the contract.

Reminder, the effective date of increase for Southlake customers will begin October 1, 2020. Customers will see the changes reflected on their November bill.

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What is Backflow and How Does It Affect Water Quality?

While the City of Southlake consistently invests in and maintains quality infrastructure, it is always important to understand how systems work and how you can help us keep Southlake special.

Backflow is a term that describes water flowing in the opposite way from its intended direction, either from a decrease in pressure in the drinking water supply lines or increase of pressure on the customer’s side. The biggest issue that backflow can potentially cause is water contamination, if the proper backflow prevention assemblies aren’t installed and maintained on your plumbing system.

Water is designed to flow towards the point of lowest pressure, therefore if a water main were to break or a surge of fire hydrants were opened to fight a fire, the pressure would drop, forcing the water to flow backwards and potentially carry contaminants into the waterlines. If there is an illegal cross-connection to a source of contamination, which is when a physical connection between the drinking water supply and a possible source of contamination or pollution collide, it could result in the water being unsafe to drink. The most frequent types of cross connections include a water hose in a pool or soapy bucket, water wells connected to irrigation systems, coffee makers and ice machines with direct water lines, and chemical injection units at restaurants.

The good news is that backflow can be prevented by utilizing the proper backflow prevention assembly or an air gap, which is a physical separation between the end of the water supply pipeline and the flood level of the fixture in question. A good example of an air gap is the distance between the bottom of your sink tap and the height of your sink bowl.

The City of Southlake conducts customer service inspections to analyze and remove current or potential cross connections on a consistent basis throughout the year. If you have recently received a letter from the City stating an assembly has not been tested in the last year and are unsure of your records, you can search search here for the last backflow test or call 817-748-8082 to update your file.

If you are a licensed Backflow Prevention Assembly Tester and you’re interested in becoming a registered to test in the City of Southlake, the City has partnered with VEPO LLC for an online database and documentation of backflow prevention and tester registration. Learn more about the process here.

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TCEQ schedules public meeting on Mary’s Creek Water Reclamation Facility

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) is holding an online public meeting at 7 p.m. Oct. 5 regarding the proposed permit for the future Mary’s Creek Water Reclamation Facility.

Members of the public who would like to ask questions or provide comments during the meeting may access the meeting via webcast and entering Webinar ID 911-820-667. TCEQ recommends joining the webinar and registering for the public meeting at least 15 minutes before the meeting begins.

The official meeting notice is online. It contains information on how individuals without electronic access can participate and explains the meeting format.

Mary’s Creek Water Reclamation Facility has been planned for almost 20 years, with extensive public outreach related to the plant’s location, design parameters and discharge considerations. The facility’s primary purpose is to clean the wastewater coming from homes and businesses in the rapidly developing areas of west Fort Worth.

The city has committed to a membrane-type treatment process at the facility, capable of producing an extremely high-quality water that can be used by water customers who use reclaimed water for irrigation or processes that do not require potable water. Reclaimed water from the facility is a recommended water supply strategy in the State Water Plan.

The facility will also improve the health of Mary’s Creek by adding flow and oxygen that improves conditions for aquatic life.

Protecting public health and the environment is what the City of Fort Worth water utility does every day by providing drinking water, reclaimed water and wastewater treatment to the region.

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Fort Worth urges customers with delinquent water accounts to make payment arrangements

Time is running out for customers with delinquent water accounts to make payment arrangements before water shutoffs resume Sept. 8.

Fort Worth water utility customer service representatives stand ready to assist customers with setting up payment plans. Customers should call 817-392-4477 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. City offices are closed on Monday, Sept. 7, for the Labor Day holiday.

Fort Worth recognizes customers may need assistance with their water bill payments, and assistance is available through the CARES Act for eligible households. Community Action Partners is accepting online applications for the Emergency Household Assistance Program. To learn more about the program, call 817-392-5720.

Fort Worth temporarily stopped disconnecting all active residential, commercial and industrial accounts for nonpayment on March 13.

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How to Update Your Information for Southlake Water Utility Billing

Have you dropped your home phone line and only use a cell phone? Did you change your email address? Has it been awhile since you reviewed your contact information with Southlake Water Utilities?

If your contact information has changed, now is the time to review the information we have on file for you and make sure it’s up to date! Follow the simple steps below to update your information online or give us a call at: 817-748-8051.

  1. Go to the Southlake Water Utilities web page and select the “Manage Your Account” tab.

2. You will land on the Customer Update Request page. Complete the information for your account and select “Update Account Information.”

3. You will land on the Customer Update Request page. Complete the information for your account and select “Update Account Information.”

Then sign and submit! It’s as easy as that! Have questions? We’re here to help! Call us at 817-748-8051 or find helpful water information at www.SouthlakeWaterUtilities.com.

 

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Water Department seeking applicants for two-year meter project

The Fort Worth Water Department has launched a hiring blitz and is seeking highly-motivated individuals in its Customer Care Division.

The city is seeking people with meter reading, meter installation and repair experience. People with mechanical skills and ability to use smart devices are welcome to apply.

All positions are for a two-year project, but the length of employment depends on the workload. The positions will offer benefits.

Field service technicians will be responsible for meter reading, meter installations and replacements, high-bill and leak investigations, and maintenance and repair of water meters.

Apply online. Interviews will be conducted by Webex or by phone.

The Customer Care Division is the customer-facing division of the Water Department. Meter Services oversees more than 270,000 water meters in the city’s system, which serves more than 800,000 residents in Fort Worth’s 350 square miles.

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Learn about conserving water through smart landscaping

The upcoming YardSmart fall seminars are going online.

Tune in Sept. 12 to Fort Worth Water’s Facebook Live from 9-11 a.m. for seminars in English, and Fort Worth Agua from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for seminars in Spanish.

The semiannual seminar series is free and open to the public.

Participants will hear from well-known local experts on topics such as container gardening, fall landscaping and vegetable gardens for North Texas. View the Spanish seminar schedule.

Sponsored by the city’s Water Department, YardSmart provides environmentally friendly and water-efficient information that can lead to healthy, beautiful lawns and gardens.

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Fort Worth Water featuring the Drop family in new water conservation series

Meet the Drops, a Fort Worth family who in the height of the summer heat find their water bill going up. Higher bills are not unusual this time of year. The Drops want to share their journey to conserving water and lowering their bill.

For the next 30 days, Walter, Misty, Raine and Wayne Drop will walk you through the ways they discovered how to reduce their bill.

They started by visiting SaveFort WorthWater.

This quick and fun animated campaign will appear on Facebook Fort Worth Water, and on Twitter. It will also be distributed to residents through the Nextdoor network.

Among the many tips, the Drops will show you how to read your water bill, how to conduct the tuna can test and about low-flow showerheads.

The Fort Worth Water Department’s customer engagement team produced the series.

“We’re here to help customers lower their water bills during the hottest part of the summer,” said Katy Holloway, customer engagement lead. “This time of year we often see higher water bills due to drier and hotter weather. This year, in addition to the weather, families are at home because of COVID-19, and that increases usage and adds into these higher bills.”

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Fort Worth Water urges customers to make payment arrangements before shutoffs resume

Fort Worth water utility customer service representatives stand ready to assist customers with setting up payment plans in advance of water shutoffs for nonpayment resuming Sept. 8.

Customers should call 817-392-4477 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, except city holidays.

Fort Worth recognizes customers may need assistance with their water bill payments. Assistance is available through the CARES Act for eligible households.

Community Action Partners is accepting online applications for the Emergency Household Assistance Program. To learn more about the program, call 817-392-5720.

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Systems that Work – How Southlake Maintains a Sustainable Water Infrastructure

Drinking water is essential to the well-being and health of those who live, work and play in Southlake.

The Southlake Public Works Department teams up with other City departments such as Finance and Planning and Development Services to invest in maintaining and updating our water infrastructure. Public Works utilizes a ranking system which identifies and prioritizes projects essential to maintain critical assets. The department also abides by Environmental Protection Agency guidelines to provide quality and safe drinking water.

Water quality is maintained daily by flushing water hydrants, taking samples and monitoring to ensure facility operations are working properly.

Earlier this year, the City invested in renovating the elevated storage tank located on Miron Drive. Southlake cleans and inspect our tanks to ensure they meet and exceed the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and American Water Works Association standards. After performing a series of inspections and cleanings, the tank was recommended to be repainted.

The City conducts annual inspections and cleanings on all water storage tanks to prevent a build-up of sediment which can settle in the bottom of the tank. Sediment left too long inside a storage tank could create a place for bacteria to form. When bacteria forms in a tank, the water in the tank can lose its disinfectant residual and adversely impact the water quality in the entire pressure plane or even an entire water system.

The renovation of the interior and exterior coating also prevents the corrosion of steel and the oxidation of the paint. The integrity of the water tower’s interior paint coating is essential to maintaining the infrastructure needed for quality and safe drinking water.   A smooth, non-porous surface helps ensure the tank is clean and free of issues.

The City also recently replaced 20-year-old pump valves at the T.W. King Booster Station. These valves play a critical role in the operation of the tank by pumping water from the City’s wholesale provider (City of Ft. Worth) to the water towers, which is then distributed to homes and commercial facilities in Southlake.

By strategically investing in public assets, such as water infrastructure systems, the City can continue to provide their customers with the highest quality drinking water.

For more information about water quality, visit our website. To review the 2020 Water Quality Report, click here.

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