February 11, 2016
Contact: Lauren Laake (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 water quality and discolored water issues in Kingwood.
According to both entities, the brown water is a result of construction occurring on private development near Northpark Drive and West Lake Houston Parkway. On Tuesday of this week, a private contractor was working to isolate fire hydrants, which led to the disruption of built up sediment in the water lines, and resulted in the discolored water experienced by some citizens.
Unfortunately, media sources have compared the quality of Kingwood's water to that of Flint, Michigan, whose citizens most recently have seen high concentrations of lead. According to Jonathan Dawson, Severn Trent Project Manager - Kingwood, the local water is continually tested and found to be safe to consume based on the following facts:
  •  Flint's water has high levels of lead in it (which can be fatal). The water in Kingwood does NOT.
    •   The result of the lead test = 0.005 mg/l and the limit is 0.015 mg/l
  • 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 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 to be within the legal limits.
    • The results of the iron test =  0.040 mg/l and the limit is 0.30 mg/l
    • The results of the manganese =  0.013 mg/l and the limit is 0.05 mg/l
  • 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.
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 5-10 minutes. If the problem persists, customers should contact the city's 3-1-1 Service Help Line or call Council Member Dave Martin's office at (832) 393-3008.