Water Services

5 things to watch at Thursday’s city council meetings

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By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

The College Station City Council gathers Thursday at city hall for its workshop (5:30 p.m.) and regular (7 p.m.) meetings. Here are five items to watch:

  1. Wastewater Master Plan Update: In the workshop, the council will review the city’s updated Wastewater Master Plan, which includes demand projections and a capital improvement plan.
  2. Neighborhood Sidewalk Improvements: As part of the consent agenda, the council will consider a $203,000 contract for sidewalks on the west side of Eisenhower Street, the south side of Live Oak Street, the north side of San Saba Drive, and an ADA accessible sidewalk on the south side of Cross Street. The projects will be funded by federal Community Development Block Grants.
  3. LED Street Lighting: Also on the consent agenda is a $2.56 million contract for replacing the city’s street lights with more efficient LED (light emitting diode) fixtures.
  4. Corsair Circle Rezoning: After a public hearing, the council will consider a request to change the land use and zoning designations for about two acres on Corsair Circle just north of Pavilion Avenue. The changes would allow for the development of a hotel.
  5. SH 6-Sebesta Rezoning: After a public hearing, the council will consider a request to change the land use and zoning designations for about 18 acres south of Sebesta Road along State Highway 6. The changes would allow for commercial development.

Before the council’s executive session, the city’s employee of the year will be announced at 3:30 p.m. and honored with the other nominees at a reception. Employees with at least 20, 25, 30 and 35 years of service also will be recognized.

The meetings can be watched live on Suddenlink Ch. 19, or online. The website includes an archive of previous council meetings. We’ll post a detailed live blog on this site.

Related links:     

         


14316755_10108798313965164_2904942172107966680_nAbout the Author

Colin Killian (@ColinKillian)has been with the City of College Station since 2010. He previously served 23 years as associate media relations director for the Texas A&M Athletics Department. Killian has also done extensive volunteer work for the U.S. Olympic Committee and worked as a reporter and editor for the Corpus Christi Caller-Times and Lewisville News. A native of Hobbs, N.M., he graduated from Texas Tech with a bachelor’s degree in journalism/political science.


 

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A free way to spruce up your sprinklers and save money

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By Jennifer Nations, Water Resource Coordinator

Twice in recent weeks – even before the heavy rain stopped – I was contacted by several homeowner associations after residents complained about slippery, algae-covered sidewalks caused by irrigation runoff.

Apparently, some irrigation systems are in dire need of a Sprinkler Spruce Up.

If learning how to program your sprinkler controller, spot irrigation leaks, and cut your water bills rank high among your summer goals, you’ll want to attend one of three free workshops hosted by College Station Water Services in observance of Smart Irrigation Month.

The first workshop is Saturday from 10-11:30 a.m. in the Mediterranean Room at Pebble Creek Country Club. Participating households will receive a rain gauge, soil moisture meter, and a $25 gift card to a home improvement store. You’ll even get a chance to meet Flo the Spokesgallon (pictured above) from the EPA WaterSense program.

You’ll also learn valuable sprinkler system maintenance tips, see the latest in water-saving sprinkler technology, get tips from a licensed irrigator, and learn about weekly watering recommendations from the Brazos Valley Water Smart Network.

If you can’t make it Saturday, we’ll repeat the class twice in July:

  • Saturday, July 9: 10-11:30 a.m., Carter Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant (Training Room), 2200 North Forest Pkwy.
  • Saturday, July 23: 10:30 a.m.-noon, Castlegate II Event Center, 4205 Norwich Dr.

These workshops are for you if:

  • You have a sprinkler system but fear that scaling back your watering schedule will kill your lawn.
  • You’ve had high summer water bills in the past and want to avoid sticker shock again.
  • You’re curious about how slight adjustments to your watering schedule could save you money.
  • Your neighborhood or homeowner association collectively seeks to reduce the amount of water use and runoff – and clear up those algae-ridden sidewalks!

For more information or to register, please contact Water Resource Coordinator Jennifer Nations at 979-764-6223 or jnations@cstx.gov.

 


7204119348_7a9cc790a2_oAbout the Author

Jennifer Nations has been the City of College Station’s water resource coordinator for more than 15 years after two years as BVSWMA’s environmental compliance officer. She’s also chair of the Water Conservation and  Reuse Division for the Texas Section of the American Water Works Association. A native of Fremont, Calif., Jennifer earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental & resource science from UC-Davis in 1995 and earned a master’s degree in water management & hydrologic science from Texas A&M in 2016.


 

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Is College Station’s drinking water contaminated?

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By Jennifer Nations, Water Resource Coordinator

After the recent national headlines about lead contamination in Flint, Mich., and the news stories about poor water quality monitoring practices, you certainly can’t blame people for suspecting our tap water may be unsafe — or even dangerous.

Unfortunately, some businesses have taken advantage of the headlines by spreading misinformation in a misguided attempt to sell water products and services.

Don’t believe them. College Station’s drinking water is safe.

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We’re keeping a close eye on San Antonio water project

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Vista Ridge PipelineBy Dave Coleman, Water Services Director

Last October, the San Antonio City Council approved a contract with a joint venture named Vista Ridge to supply 50,000 acre-feet per year of Simsboro aquifer water to the San Antonio Water System (SAWS).

Since we rely on the Simsboro aquifer for 99 percent of our drinking water, we’re paying close attention to the project. By comparison, combined water use by College Station, Bryan, and Texas A&M is typically about 36,000 acre-feet per year. All three entities are in the Brazos Valley Groundwater Conservation District.

Vista Ridge is able to offer that much water to SAWS because it’s obtained sufficient well permits from the Post Oak Savannah Groundwater Conservation District (POSGCD). The permits are based on several thousand water rights leases that Vista Ridge has signed with landowners in Burleson County.

Since groundwater is private property in Texas, these landowners are fully within their rights to sell the water under their property.

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Please don’t respond to heat by watering every day

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By Jennifer Nations, Water Resource Coordinator

Broken head2The summer heat wave started a little later than usual this year, but it’s here. If you don’t believe me, you haven’t been outside at mid-afternoon lately.

When it comes to your water supply, it’s not a surprise that higher temperatures mean a rise in the demand. Unfortunately, many of our residents have started watering every day while others have irrigation systems in disrepair.

As a result, our community’s water consumption has gone from 12 million gallons a day in early July to more than 21 million gallons just a month later. In fact, we’ve used more than 20 million gallons every day since July 22.

That’s stunning.

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New water quality report now available online

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By Jennifer Nations, Water Resource Coordinator

Maintaining a high-quality supply of drinking water is a priority for the City of College Station and our Water Services Department.

It’s obviously important to you, too.

In 2011, I posted a blog titled, “Is Your Drinking Water Dangerous?” that described the contents of our annual drinking water quality report. I turned out to be the most popular post since the city started blogging in 2010, attracting almost 7,000 views.

The report contains detailed information about the source of your drinking water, contaminants detected, and the health effects of those contaminants.

Since 1999, we’ve mailed a copy of the report directly to our water customers as required by state law. Back then, the internet was in its infancy and smartphones, tablets and other high-tech communication gadgets still belonged on re-runs of Star Trek.

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