By Tom Kula, NTMWD Executive Director
All of us at the North Texas Municipal Water District share your concerns about the new coronavirus and how it will impact our families and communities. We want you to know our team continues to provide the safe and reliable water, wastewater and solid waste services you need. Our dedicated operators, laboratory technicians and other personnel are working around the clock to continue the vital services you count on. We are also taking precautions to keep workers healthy and protected. It’s personal for us. We live here and our families rely on these services, too.
Right now, there are many questions about the COVID-19 virus. We want to assure you that your drinking water is safe.
Fortunately, we have been investing in the resiliency of our water system over the past 10 years. The NTMWD Board of Directors (appointed by your city leaders) approved nearly $3 billion in improvements to the regional water system alone to make sure we have reliable infrastructure in place when we need it the most. These investments have funded critical projects, equipment and technology to store, treat, filter and disinfect your water and deliver it to each city.
NTMWD has advanced water treatment processes in place using ozone and chlorine/chloramines for disinfection during treatment and delivery. Thankfully, viruses do not persist in chlorinated/chloraminated treated water. According to the World Health Organization, COVID-19 doesn’t affect drinking water supplies.
Our state-certified laboratory staff continue performing hundreds of tests daily to make sure our treated water and the water your cities deliver meets all public health requirements. Water quality reports are available on NTMWD and city websites.
You may also wonder if this virus can transfer in wastewater treatment operations. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that’s unlikely as long as our people follow safe work practices required for collecting and treating wastewater… and we do. Our wastewater system uses chlorine or ultraviolet light to disinfect the treated water before returning it to the environment. And, you can help our workers tremendously by only flushing toilet paper – all other paper products (wipes, tissue, paper towels) will clog pipes, including your home plumbing. Even wipes labeled as “flushable” can cause costly damage and backups in pipes and our system.
We are diligently working in partnership with your city each day to provide dependable and safe water and other essential services to you. Of all the uncertainties during this challenging time – all of us at NTMWD are committed to making sure that water, wastewater and solid waste services isn’t one of them.
This is possible in part to the investments all our cities have made to ensure we have a resilient water system and effective practices to protect public health. The combination of responsible investments and the dedicated people at NTMWD and in our cities ensure that our safe drinking water reaches 1.8 million people 24/7 – and, for only about a penny per gallon. Follow us on social media for updates. And, remember, we are #StrongerTogether.