North Harris County Regional Water Authority (Authority) was created June 18, 1999 when Texas House Bill 2965 was signed into law and voters confirmed the creation of the Authority. The Authority was created to ensure a secure and reliable supply of wholesale drinking water for all residents and entities within its boundaries, comprising of approximately 335 square miles and 460,000 residents. The primary goal of the Authority is compliance with the Harris-Galveston Subsidence District’s (HGSD) Regulatory Plan to prevent and cease the subsidence observed in the Harris County area by conservation of underground water sources. The Regulatory Plan requires a reduction in groundwater usage to no more than 20% of the total water demand by the year 2030. Should the Authority not meet the reduction goal of 20% groundwater usage by 2030, a monetary penalty of $5.00/1000-gallons will be imposed upon them by the HGSD. To ensure the Authority meets this reduction goal, all participating entities inside the District’s boundaries are aggregated into a single groundwater permit and participate in a single Groundwater Reduction Plan. The Authority delivers treated surface water from the Northeast Water Purification Plant (NEWPP) to all participating members of its GRP, but the remaining demand shall be supplemented by the use of groundwater. To read the entire article please click here.
Waste Water Systems
Water districts are faced with this decision frequently on the many pumps, blowers and drives that make up their water and wastewater systems. In the past, a rule of thumb was used to make this decision based on the cost of the repairs compared to the cost of a new replacement unit. The adage stated that if the repair was greater than 50% of the replacement cost, then it was better to replace the unit. The origin of this rule is unknown and the line of logic it follows questionable. The best guess is that for complicated equipment with many moving parts, a repair only brings a portion of the total machine back to manufacturer’s tolerances. If only half the machine were repaired, it might make sense that the other half may fail in short order and thus the total cost would be more than a new unit. To read the entire article, please click here.
The Woodlands Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan Project
JC has just won The Woodlands Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan project! The plan we will develop looks toward the future of transportation and provides alternatives to connecting The Woodland’s villages to each other and to adjacent neighborhoods. The plan will build upon the momentum of biking and walking as a preferred mode of transport in the community. Our experts will explore multi-modal transportation options, safety, design that supports the integral aesthetics of The Woodlands, pivotal wayfinding, and initiatives that encourage leaving the car at home!
The JC team is comprised of Project Manager Chelsea Young, AICP and supported by Erin Williford, PE; June Farrell, AICP; Stan Winter, AICP Colby Wright, PE, PTOE; Rob Maxwell, PE; and Kevin Krahn, PE. Expert subconsultants include John Ciccarelli with Bicycle Solutions and Michael Mauer, ASLA with M2L and Associations Inc.
Congrats to our team who get to use their passion and expertise to transform the way this community lives, works, and plays!
Chris Torrie – Learning and Development Manager
Chris Torrie has recently joined Jones sand Carter as Learning and Development Manager in the Human Resource practice. Chris brings over 17 years of experience including learning program strategy and design, instructional design, training delivery, and learning infrastructure management. He holds the Certified Technical Trainer (CTT+) credential and a Master degree in Teaching and Learning with Technology. His extensive experience includes creating and developing learning programs that are innovative, effective, fit-for-purpose, and technology rich. Additionally, he has created learning programs for multiple disciplines such as technical training, leadership development, certification programs, and business skills. In his prior position he created a competency development program for oil and gas engineers.
Chris’ vision for JC’s learning and development is to create programs that build skills and competencies for all employees to better position our people, and the firm, for success. He will be refreshing and expanding Jones and Carter University so that our employees have increased access through new methodologies and technologies. Additionally, leadership development and competency-based training programs will be enhanced and he will assist in the development of defined career paths for all our JC people.
Chris has been married for 16 years and has a 10-year-old son. Born and raised in Colorado, Chris has lived in Florida, Australia, and Washington D.C. before settling in The Woodlands. He was an exchange student in the former Soviet Union and speaks Russian proficiently. Please welcome Chris to JC.
Jones|Carter is getting a new look! Much like your favorite childhood superhero, your favorite survey company is getting a reboot. Our cape may look different, but our powers are still as strong and steady as ever. For 40 years, we have provided professional surveying services under a variety of company names including: Cotton Surveying Company, Charlie Kalkomey Surveying, and Terra Firma. To read more, please click here.
With a change to surface water many municipalities have had episodes of poor water quality that are the result of several factors. This memo is intended to give a little background on why conversion was necessary in the Houston area, a discussion of what those factors are, and recommendations on what to do as we move forward.
Our conversion to surface water in the Houston area is the result of subsidence, but many areas of Texas use surface water because of a lack of ground water. Surface water differs from ground water in many ways but of particular importance is that it has naturally occurring organic material in it. This is important because when disinfected with chlorine, this material forms byproducts that are shown to be carcinogenic. The byproducts are many and generally classified as either haloacetic acids or as trihalomethanes. Collectively they are called disinfection byproducts (DBPs) and are now regulated by the EPA. To avoid the formation of DBPs, many entities supplying surface water changed from using straight chlorine to chloramines, chlorine dioxide, or other disinfectants. Chloramines were the disinfectant of choice in Houston. Making chloramines is a tricky process, and the addition of too much chlorine can form Di- and Trichloramines that have a bad taste and odor. If chlorinated water were blended with chloraminated water the free chlorine residual would combine with the chloramines and form Di- and Trichloramines. This would be undesirable and thus the reason that all the regional water suppliers asked their customers to match their form of disinfection. To read the entire article, please click here.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
In 1998 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) mandated that the country’s states impose limitations on nutrients entering its surface water resources. The primary nutrients targeted are nitrogen and phosphorus for their ability to severely impact the quality of the nation’s surface waters. In extreme quantities, these nutrients can cause eutrophication which is the rapid growth of algae, commonly referred to as algae blooms, and hypoxia or areas of rapid phytoplankton growth. Inland blooms are very unsightly, can kill aquatic life by reducing the dissolved oxygen concentrations and impart taste and odor problems for drinking water plants. In recent years hypoxia has received media attention as the limits of the “dead zone” in the Gulf of Mexico have been mapped. In accordance with the EPA’s mandate, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) began the laborious process of quantifying the problem through stream testing, identification of sources, a review of technological capabilities for nutrient removal and establishing a priority for nutrient reductions. The TCEQ’s State Implementation Plan calls for the reduction of nutrients and as such the TCEQ has begun writing discharge permits with technology based limits. To read the entire article, please click here.
Jones|Carter responds to needs in their Marketing and Business Services practices by hiring the following new employees:
Lori Grubbs has joined the Marketing Practice as the Graphic Design Manager. Lori will define graphics standards, develop global templates for presentations and proposals, and reinforce the JC brand in internal and client-facing collateral. Lori will further utilize her 15 years of experience to design marketing materials that reflect JC’s new direction. Lori’s career includes engagements at several AEC industry firms. She is a lifelong Houstonian.
Jacob Priego is the newest member of the Business Services Practice. As CAD Division Manager, Jacob will manage CAD resources and staff at all JC locations. Jacob’s prior experience includes serving as an IT director and a corporate CAD manager at emerging technology consulting firms. Jacob has relocated from El Paso, Texas to accept this new opportunity at JC.