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Let’s talk about water quality

This past Sunday, the City of Houston issued a boil water notice, citing power issues and the failure of two transformers at the East Water Purification Plant. By Tuesday morning, the notice was lifted but the news captured the attention of Houston-Area residents — after all, this is the second city-wide boil water issue in less than two years. City officials pointed to a preponderance of caution in issuing the most recent order and said that the water was, in fact, safe.

The City sources its water from the Trinity River, the San Jacinto River, and Lake Houston, while Galveston gets its water from the Brazos River. Water filtration systems then remove things such as bacteria, chemicals, particulates, and viruses from sourced water — any contaminants that drain into those sources are captured and treated by the purification plants before distribution. And of course, the water is tested for a variety of parameters throughout this process to ensure the treated water is safe.

So where can you learn more about water quality in these sources and other local surface water? Well, there are a number of CEC Member Organizations or partners that measure water quality and report back on their data:

●       Bayou City Waterkeeper works to preserve the area’s watersheds and recently released a map showing Houston’s sewage releases, available here: https://bayoucitywaterkeeper.org/what-we-do/clean-water/justice-in-the-sewers/

●       The Houston-Galveston Area Council (H-GAC) offers a variety of maps and data viewers related to water quality here: https://www.h-gac.com/water-data-and-mapping

●       Bayou Preservation Association works towards high water quality in Houston’s bayous and works closely with H-GAC on their Texas Stream Team citizen science water quality sampling in area bayous. Join the team here: https://bayoupreservation.org/Programs/Bayou-Science/Texas-Stream-Team-Training

●       Galveston Bay Foundation also has a citizen science water quality monitoring team that collects water quality data from around Galveston Bay and shares it here: https://galvbay.org/work/water-protection/

●       And of course, Houston Public Works shares its annual report on drinking water quality here: https://houstonpublicworks.org/drinking-water-quality-report

Check out these organizations and learn more about our area’s water today!