UpStream Blog

  • Katelyn Hearon

How to Use Texas Drinking Water Watch


A woman holds a glass of drinking water


Whether a water treatment plant operator or a water distribution operator, knowing where your Water System stands with the TCEQ is a must. Not only because it's our responsibility to protect public health through the TCEQs regulations, but also to avoid fines and violations (which suck).


That gets a big "Nope!" from us—we don't want that to happen to you or anyone else!


Checking up on your Water System with the TCEQ’s Texas Drinking Water Watch is fast and easy. It's so easy it can be done in 3 simple steps. Let's take a quick look.


1. Follow the URL


You can start by visiting the Texas Drinking Water Watch utility.


2. Enter Your Water System Number


The Public Water Supply System Search Parameters utility on the TCEQ website
The best tools for water and wastewater operators are sometimes hard to find.

On the Texas Drinking Water Watch page, notice the six text fields in the Public Water Supply System Search Parameters section:

  • Water System No.

  • Water System Name

  • Activity Status

  • Principal County Served

  • Water System Type

  • Primary Source Water Type

Simply fill in the top field with your entity's water system number. You aren't required to fill in all six. Once you've filled in the appropriate information, click the "Search For Water Systems" button.


Note


Unlike the TCEQ License Lookup utility, entering incomplete information won't necessarily end in an error message. This makes the Texas Drinking Water Watch utility easier to use, in our opinion.


If, for example, I mistype Lewisville's water system number by forgetting the trailing '4' (i.e., TX061000), the Texas Drinking Water Watch utility returns records that include all of the characters leading up to that missing/dropped character. Even with butterfingers, it's easy to find your water system.


Search results from the Texas Drinking Water Watch utility
Even if you mistype the water system number, you're likely to get a return.

3. By the Numbers


In the image above, note there are three hyperlinks:

  • Water System No.

  • Fact Sheet

  • Summary Sheet

As the section title suggests, click on the water system number hyperlink to access imminently valuable information about your water system.


Note


While there is undoubtedly excellent information contained in all three of these links, the only information of consequence for me is accessible by clicking the water system number link. In a future post, I'll outline what you can expect on the Fact Sheet and Summary Sheet pages. Count on some useful tips to make the most of the information contained therein as well.


4. Check Your Status


A snip from within the result set of a Texas Drinking Water Search query
Violations and Enforcement Actions: two things to know about if there's a problem.







The second column from the left contains two links that are of utmost importance:

  • Violations

  • Enforcement Actions

There's a treasure trove of information in the Texas Drinking Water Watch utility, make no mistake. However, these two areas are imperative for keeping a watchful eye on matters that can have far-ranging consequences if allowed to fade from view. While the TCEQ won't leave you in the dark, there may be factors at play that prevent information from reaching your desk as quickly as you might expect.


Note


Some municipal entities require violations and enforcement notices to go through the mayor's office before trickling down to the relevant division(s) and their supervisor(s). Whether a holdover from an outdated process or when a civic entity was much smaller than it currently is, if this information gets delayed, it only creates headaches for supervisory staff and decision-makers.


The Wrap


Being surprised by violations and/or enforcement actions is completely avoidable. It is also possible for the TCEQ to make mistakes, leading to awkward questions and raised heart rates when the news hits the desk of the main water system contact. Checking up on your Water System with TCEQ Texas Drinking Water Watch is quick and easy.


 

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