Storm Preparedness: Case Study

When Hurricane Harvey struck the Houston area, historic levels of rainfall significantly impacted the operations of water and wastewater utilities across the region. Four feet of floodwaters caused the Lake Forest Utility District’s main water treatment plant to go offline for several days.

The District contacted Baxter & Woodman to evaluate the facility for damage and necessary modifications. After temporary emergency repairs to the plant were made, Baxter & Woodman recommended additional resiliency upgrades to reduce the risk of essential equipment failure in future flood events while providing cost savings to the District. Improvements were designed to elevate critical infrastructure and electrical equipment above Harvey’s flood level, including raising the roof and wall height of the control building by approximately five feet, installing an interior mezzanine deck to house the new, raised motor controls center, and constructing a raised concrete pad for outdoor placement of the new generator along with a metal pedestrian platform around the perimeter to provide access for maintenance.

Baxter & Woodman helped the District coordinate with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to secure $294,000 in reimbursements for the $926,100 repair and mitigation project.

Click here to read the case study.

Important Notice: Lake Forest UD is About to Change Residual Disinfectant from Free Chlorine to Chloramines

Lake Forest UD, PWS ID 1010494, will be changing the disinfectant that we use from chlorine to chloramines as Lake Forest UD will be receiving treated surface water from North Harris County Regional Water Authority. This change is intended to benefit our customers by reducing the levels of disinfection by-products (DBPs) in the system, while still providing protection from waterborne disease.

However, the change to chloramines can cause problems to a person dependent on dialysis machines. A condition known as hemolytic anemia can occur if the disinfectant is not completely removed from the water that is used for the dialysate. Consequently, the pretreatment scheme used for the dialysis units must include some means, such as a charcoal filter, for removing the chloramine prior to this date. Medical facilities should also determine if additional precautions are required for other medical equipment.

In addition, chloraminated water may be toxic to fish. If you have a fish tank, please make sure that the chemicals or filters that you are using are designed for use in water that has been treated with chloramines. You may also need to change the type of filter that you use for the fish tank.

You will be notified when the date of conversion is to begin in a separate notice.

If you have questions concerning this matter, you may contact Inframark, the operator for Lake Forest UD, at our 24-hour Customer Service Line (281) 398-8211.

Notice of Public Hearing on Tax Rate

The LAKE FOREST UTILITY DISTRICT will hold a public hearing on a proposed tax rate for the tax year 2023 on Tuesday, October 17, 2023 at 7:00 PM at 11450 Compaq Center Drive STE 660, Houston, TX 77070. Your individual taxes may increase at a greater or lesser rate, or even decrease, depending on the tax rate that is adopted and on the change in the taxable value of your property in relation to the change in taxable value of all other property. The change in the taxable value of your property in relation to the change in the taxable value of all other property determines the distribution of the tax burden among all property owners.

Visit Texas.gov/PropertyTaxes to find a link to your local property tax database on which you can easily access information regarding your property taxes, including information about proposed tax rates and scheduled public hearings of each entity that taxes your property.

Notice of Public Hearing on Tax Rate (PDF)

Digital Water Meters

The District has begun a project to replace all existing water meters with digital meters over a period of 2-3 years. The operator (EDP) began installing Badger Meter digital meters in 2022 with plans to generally replace the oldest meters first. EDP will notify each customer before their meter is replaced and leave a notice on the homeowner’s door when work is completed.

Digital meters allow customers to view and manage their water usage within hours by providing water consumption data in hourly intervals. The meters promote customer awareness of leaks and water consumption and allow active engagement in water conservation and leak prevention efforts. The meters have the ability to create alerts for potential leaks with no need to wait for notification from the utility or a high water bill to take action.

Customer consumption data will be accessible through Badger Meter’s EyeOnWater web portal and smartphone app. The app allows the customer to connect to their water utility account and see their latest water usage, detect leaks, and easily contact EDP.

Instructions to set up an EyeOnWater account can be found on the door hanger left after installation or www.edpwater.com/smlfud or by calling EDP at 832-467-1599.

2022 Engineering Summary

The District successfully addressed a number of challenges and completed projects during the year to improve infrastructure condition, ensure reliability, and enhance resiliency. Significant projects and accomplishments are summarized in the 2022 Engineering Summary.

Rate Increases / Sewer and NHCRWA Fees

Dear Residents:

Beginning January 2021, it will be necessary to increase Lake Forest Utility District’s (LFUD) monthly sewer rate from $10/month to $20/month and to increase the North Harris County Regional Water Authority (NHCRWA) fees by 10%. The NHCRWA fee is based on raw well water pumped from the aquifer and not the actual amount of treated water billed to the customer. This will be LFUD’s first increase in water and sewer rates since 1996.

In June 2020, LFUD commissioned our engineering firm, AEI Engineering, to perform an analysis of our current water and sewer production costs and the revenue received from current tax, water, and sewer rates along with the fees associated with the NHCRWA. The analysis showed LFUD is currently collecting 91 % of the cost to provide water, 59% of the sewer costs, and about 90% of the fees assessed to LFUD by the NHCRWA.

Based on AEl’s analysis, the Board determined that the majority of the costs for sewer and water could be recovered by adding $10/month to the sewer rate only. The NHCRWA revenue shortfall could be corrected by adding a 10% surcharge to the NHCRWA assessment. The 10% surcharge will recover the cost of water lost from main breaks and water flushed from fire hydrants, etc.

Through prudent management, LFUD has paid off all outstanding bonds but has a $0.245/$100 valuation Operation & Maintenance Tax. Our evaluation has found that LFUD has the lowest water and sewer rates and O & M taxes compared to neighboring districts after the January 2021 increase is implemented.