Posts tagged “jennifer nations

Protect your pipes now before the freeze hits

By Jennifer Nations, Water Resource Coordinator

With sustained freezing temperatures in our forecast, it’s time for a quick chemistry lesson.

Water expands when freezing, so any water left in pipes such as sprinkler systems can freeze, expand, and — POW! — create a big, messy water leak. With that in mind, College Station Water Services has some precautions to help protect your water pipes and irrigation system.

Before the freeze

  • Disconnect and drain garden hoses from outside faucets to allow water to drain from the pipe so an overnight freeze doesn’t damage the faucet or the pipe.
  • Find the isolation valve for your sprinkler system and use that to turn off the water to the sprinkler system. Then, drain water from any above-ground backflow prevention devices
  • Insulate exposed outside pipes or faucets in unheated areas with Styrofoam cover, rags, or paper. Also wrap or cover exposed PVC pipes and above-ground backflow preventers.
  • Be sure your irrigation controller is set to off and leave it in that position. If the controller isn’t turned off, it will run.
  • Pay particular attention to exposed backflow prevention devices. These can cause significant leaks if they freeze, often in the form of water geysers shooting several feet in the air.
  • Find your master water shutoff valve and make sure everyone in your household knows where it’s located. The valve is typically near your meter between it and your home.

During the freeze

  • Don’t run your irrigation system during freezing weather. If your sprinkler controller is not in the off position, it will run. Running them during a freeze is also against city ordinance.
  • Be cautious about unplugging your controller; some controllers will lose all programming and revert to default mode when plugged back in, which means it will water every day.
  • Irrigation runoff onto streets and sidewalks can freeze and pose a hazard to drivers and pedestrians. That’s another city ordinance violation – not just during freezing conditions, but any time.
  • Seriously, it’s February – if your irrigation system is still running in auto mode, it needs to be turned off anyway.

If you suspect a water leak, report it to College Station Utilities’ 855-528-4278 and have your account number ready. For more information, contact me at 979-764-6223 or jnations@cstx.gov.

 


About the Blogger

Jennifer Nations has been the City of College Station’s water resource coordinator since 1999 after serving 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 a master’s degree in water management & hydrologic science from Texas A&M in 2016.


 

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What’s the tall candy cane thing on Highway 6?

By Jennifer Nations, Water Resource Coordinator

If you drive down State Highway 6 south of Rock Prairie Road, you may be intrigued by the tall red and white pole south of the Baylor Scott & White Hospital. 

No, it isn’t a lighthouse, and we’re not expecting a flood —although that wouldn’t surprise anyone in 2020. It’s not a giant candy cane or a stray element of Christmas in the Park, either.  

The giant candy cane is supporting the crane being used to construct College Station’s third water tower, which will provide water pressure, storage, and fire protection to the city’s east side. The 190-foot tall structure will store three million gallons — 12.5 million tons — of water in its bowl. 

The crane support is red and white for FAA purposes, but the “candy cane” will be removed when construction is finished in the spring of 2022.

If you’re curious about how water towers work, here’s a brief explanation:

 

 


About the Blogger

Jennifer Nations has been the City of College Station’s water resource coordinator since 1999 after serving 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 a master’s degree in water management & hydrologic science from Texas A&M in 2016.


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Can you Imagine a Day Without Water?

By Jennifer Nations, Water Resource Coordinator

Millions of Americans take water for granted. They turn on the tap, and clean water flows out. They flush the toilet, and dirty water goes away. 

Regular hand washing is one of the most important ways to limit the spread of COVID-19 and other diseases, yet we rarely think about what it takes to make water flow freely from the tap and safely return to the environment. 

Wednesday marks the sixth annual Imagine a Day Without Water, a day of action and awareness that highlights water’s essential nature in our daily lives and the importance of investing in our water infrastructure to responsibly provide a sustainable water supply for future generations.

Every day, College Station Water Services does the essential work of ensuring you have clean, healthy drinking water and safe sanitation. Our ample water supply helps protect public safety in other ways, too. 

Without sufficient water pressure for our network of 3,233 fire hydrants, the College Station Fire Department wouldn’t be able to fight fires. Thankfully, our water distribution system’s outstanding reliability helped College Station receive a Class 1 ISO fire rating — and that means you may pay less to insure your home or business.

Our two water towers hold a combined five million gallons and provide enough water pressure to simultaneously run washing machines and irrigation systems while supplying adequate flow from hydrants to extinguish fires. A third water tower under construction near the Baylor Scott & White Hospital will stabilize the water pressure and help meet our ever-growing demands.

As the Lick Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant expands its capacity from two million to five million gallons per day, the Carter Creek plant continues to turn an average of six million gallons of wastewater into clean water every day.

Here are two ways you can commemorate Imagine A Day Without Water:

  1. Watch Brave Blue World, a Netflix documentary that starts airing Wednesday. The film spotlights global water issues and highlights scientific and technological advancements that assure the world of access to clean water and safe sanitation services while protecting the environment.
  2. Encourage fifth-graders you know to enter the Imagine A Day Without Water poster contest, sponsored by Texas Section AWWA and Water Environment Association of Texas by Oct. 31. Up to 13 winning entries will be featured in the 2021 Imagine A Day Without Water calendar. Participants are invited to draw a picture that illustrates the theme of “What Do You Love About Water? Why is Water Important to You, Your Friends, or Your Family?”.

College Station consistently ranks among the nation’s best places to live and fastest-growing communities. We’re committed to investing in the infrastructure our growing community needs to remain such a great place to live and do business.

 


About the Blogger Jennifer Nations has been the City of College Station’s water resource coordinator since 1999 after serving 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 a master’s degree in water management & hydrologic science from Texas A&M in 2016.


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Video: Our water is absolutely safe to drink

In this episode of “Actually…,” Water Resource Coordinator Jennifer Nations says that College Station’s water is quite safe. Only a handful of naturally occurring contaminants have been detected, and the city adds another (chlorine) to disinfect the water and kill germs.

The city’s 2019 water quality report can be found at cstx.gov/water.

– Public Communications Office


Sales tax holiday weekend: Save money, water

By Jennifer Nations, Water Resource Coordinator

If you’ve had additional time around the house in the last two months, you may have considered sprucing up your landscape with water-efficient plants or replacing your leaky faucets. You just needed a good deal to save a little money.

Thanks to the state comptroller, that deal is here. During this weekend’s sales tax holiday, you can purchase certain water– and energy-efficient products through Memorial Day. The sales tax holiday was created by the legislature in 2015  to incentivize Texans to make the most efficient use of our limited water resources.

With the COVID-19 outbreak, the controller tweaked the rules a  bit. You don’t have to make your tax-free purchases in-store since many people now order online and have the products shipped. A complete explanation of how it all works is on the comptroller’s website.

Tax-exempt items are things you can use to help conserve or retain groundwater (where College Station’s water comes from), recharge water tables, or decrease ambient air temperature to reduce evaporation. Highlights include:

  • WaterSense labeled products can be bought for business or personal purposes. Business and rental property owners take note!
  • Soaker or drip-irrigation hoses.
  • Moisture controls for sprinklers or irrigation systems such as a rain shutoff switch or soil moisture sensor.
  • Rain barrels. If a barrel isn’t on your project list now, don’t worry — rainwater harvesting equipment is always exempt from state sales tax.
  • Plants, trees, and grasses.
  • Soil and compost.

WaterSense products go through an independent third-party certification process and meet EPA’s specifications for water efficiency and performance. Having water-saving products in your home or business not only trims your water bill but also delivers exceptional performance for years.

Stay cool this weekend, and enjoy your savings!

 


About the Blogger

Jennifer Nations has been the City of College Station’s water resource coordinator since 1999 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 a master’s degree in water management & hydrologic science from Texas A&M in 2016.


 

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Your tap water remains healthy and secure

By Jennifer Nations, Water Resource Coordinator

Despite concerns around the COVID-19 outbreak, the coronavirus has not been detected in public water supplies, which have a low risk of contamination. When you turn on your faucet, you can be confident your tap water is a safe and secure source for the water you need for drinking, cooking, and maintaining personal hygiene.

College Station’s drinking water is drawn from a protected artesian aquifer and is disinfected with chlorine. Our environmental technicians routinely test at least 100 water samples each month to ensure we maintain appropriate disinfection levels throughout our distribution system. These standard disinfection practices are specifically designed to inactivate viruses.

The City of College Station’s water and wastewater utilities remain in continuous operation and are focused on providing you with safe, healthy water.

Related Links:

 


About the Blogger

Jennifer Nations has been the City of College Station’s water resource coordinator since 1999 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 a master’s degree in water management & hydrologic science from Texas A&M in 2016.


 

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