MUD 18 Newsletter
July – September 2022

Rate Increase

It has been 12 years since the last water rate change, and operating costs have risen significantly since then. To determine how much your Montgomery County MUD 18 District should be charging for water and sewer services, we asked Bleyl Engineering to review the existing rates in relation to operating and maintenance expenses.  Hays Utility North (which operates our water and sewer plants) provided billing and expense data for water and sewer usage and miscellaneous fees from March 2021 to February 2022.  District Data Services (which handles bookkeeping services for our MUD district) provided annual operating and maintenance (O&M) expenses for the same period as the utility billing.  After analysis, Bleyl informed us that the District’s O&M expenses exceeded its billing revenue by a total of $190,395 during the study period.  A new rate order was determined and applied to the test period, which gave the District a $555 surplus instead of a deficit.  In order to preserve our financial stability and keep the District on a sound financial footing, the board has decided to adjust the water rates accordingly.

The proposed new rate order, which will go into effect in August 2022, is as follows:

  Gallons                                  Rate       

0 to 4,000                                $15.00                         (+$5.00)
4,000 to 10,000                       $1.00 per 1,000 gal.  (no change)
10,001 to 15,000                     $1.50 per 1,000 gal.  (no change)
15,001 to 20,000                     $2.50 per 1,000 gal.  (+$0.50)
20,001 to 30,000                     $3.50 per 1,000 gal.  (+$0.50)
30,001 and over                      $4.50 per 1,000 gal.  (+$0.75)

With high heat and drought conditions continuing to impact usage, it is important to conserve water.  Since each property has different landscaping layouts and sizes, please review the following water guidelines and make adjustments to suit your particular conditions. A useful link for water conservation:

Suggested Watering Guidelines for Your Property

Proper watering is critical to your lawn’s health and vigor. Deep and infrequent watering is the best practice. This means wetting the soil to a depth of 3-5 inches per irrigation. This equates to 1-1.25 inches of water per week, split over several days.  Your run times should be adjusted based on how dry your yard is. Winter watering should have run times 50% less than your summer run schedule.

Watering is most beneficial to your grass when done in the morning (3 a.m. to 8 a.m.) rather than afternoon or evening.  Avoid overnight watering. Early morning watering allows the leaf blades to dry and reduces the risk of disease.  Do not water every day or two. Frequent, short watering encourages shallow roots, unhealthy grass plants, and turf susceptible to drought and disease.

Let the turf determine watering frequency. Since heat, humidity and rainfall vary, it’s best to water at the first signs of stress, not on a predetermined schedule.  As a note, St. Augustine turf has poor drought tolerance and requires more irrigation to survive during our long hot summers.

Water newer plants 3-4 times per week for no more than 5 minutes.  Keep the ground around new trees and shrubs moist initially using a soaker hose or drip line but gradually back off after two weeks.

Recommended Lawn Watering Schedule

Here are some general lawn-watering guidelines and tips:

Irrigation Spray Head Averages

Pop-up spray head: 10-12 minutes, 3 times per week = 1”
Rotary spray heads: 16-23 minutes, 3 times per week = 1”

Seasonal Watering Recommendations

January & February – Rainfall is usually adequate.
Water if no rainfall for four weeks.
March, April & May – Water only once per week if less than one inch of rainfall occurs.
June, July, August & Early September – Water each section heavily at least twice a week if less than one inch rainfall.
Late September & October – REDUCE WATER FREQUENCY!
Early fall is Brown Patch Season, and excess water triggers this disease. During September water only once per week if no rainfall and every two weeks in October if no rain.
November & December – Rainfall is usually adequate. Water if no rainfall for four weeks

Suggested Irrigation System Settings

Some irrigation timers have a seasonal adjustment setting that enables you to reduce or increase watering without changing zone settings.  Suggested settings for our area:

November, December, January and February = 0%

March              50%
April                 70%
May                  80%
June                  90%
July/August     100%
September        70%
October            50%

Your MUD Board:

Susan McFarland, President
Lou Tichacek, Vice President
Gary Montgomery, Treasurer
Rex Cambern, Secretary
John Crystal, Assistant Secretary