Prestonwood Forest UD’s Upgraded Utility Billing System is Live! Re-register to Access and Pay Online

Great news! Prestonwood Forest UD’s transition to the new enhanced utility billing software is complete and the customer portal is available for enrollment. To pay online please re-register your account on the customer portal at ; this includes all auto draft customers. You must manually make your first payment.

All fees remain the same: There will be a $1.00 processing fee for all echeck payments, including auto drafts or 3.99% processing fee for all credit/debit card payments. These fees are not charged or collected by Water District Management or your District.

Elevating Your Utility Experience: Introducing Our Upgraded Water and Sewer Billing System!

We’re super excited to announce our transition to an enhanced water and sewer utility billing software!

Over the next few months, we will provide updates on this transition. Watch for an insert inside your monthly water/sewer bill that will include your district’s transition date.

To help make the transition easy for you, we will send you an email that contains a button that links directly to your new account number.

If you have any questions or need assistance, call us at (281) 376-8802 or email

Notice to Customer Regarding Extreme Weather Emergency

The Public Utility Commission’s rule in Title 16, Chapter 24 Texas Admin. Code § 24.173(d) prohibits your water and sewer provider, Prestonwood Forest Utility District, from imposing a late fee or from disconnecting your retail water or sewer service for nonpayment of bills that are due during an extreme weather emergency until after the emergency is over.

An extreme weather emergency is defined as a period beginning when the previous day’s highest temperature in your area did not exceed 28 degrees Fahrenheit, and the temperature is predicted to remain at or below that level for the next 24 hours according to the nearest National Weather Service reports for your area. For the purposes of these requirements, an extreme weather emergency is over on the second business day the temperature exceed 28 degrees Fahrenheit.

Your water and sewer provider is required to offer a payment schedule to an affected customer that timely requests a payment schedule. If you are affected by an extreme weather emergency, you may request a payment schedule for unpaid bills that are due during the extreme weather emergency.

For affected customers that timely request a payment schedule, your water and sewer provider is prohibited from disconnecting service for nonpayment of bills that are due during an extreme weather emergency. However, once a payment schedule is offered, disconnections may resume if you (1) decline to timely accept the payment schedule, or (2) violate the terms of the payment schedule.

If you have a bill from your water and sewer provider due during an extreme weather emergency, then you qualify to request a payment schedule. Please contact our office: Water District Management 281-376-8802 or contact Customer Service via email:

Aviso Al Cliente Sobre Emergencia Por Condiciones Del Tiempo Extremas

La regla de la Comisión de Servicios Públicos en el Título 16, Capítulo 24, del Código Administrativo de Texas § 24.173(d) prohíbe Prestonwood Forest Utility District, su proveedor de agua y alcantarillado imponer un cargo por mora o desconectar su servicio minorista de agua o alcantarillado por falta de pago de las facturas adeudadas durante una emergencia por condiciones del tiempo extremas hasta después de que la emergencia haya terminado.

Una emergencia por condiciones del tiempo extremas se define como un periodo que comienza cuando la temperatura más alta del día previo en su área no superó los 28 grados Fahrenheit y se prevé que la temperatura permanecerá en ese nivel o debajo de él durante las siguientes 24 horas según los informes más cercanos del Servicio Meteorológico Nacional para su área. A efectos de estos requisitos, una emergencia por condiciones del tiempo extremas finaliza el segundo día laborable en que la temperatura supera los 28 grados Fahrenheit.

Su proveedor de agua y alcantarillado debe ofrecer un programa de pago a un cliente afectado que lo solicite oportunamente. Si se ve afectado por una emergencia por condiciones del tiempo extremas, puede solicitar un programa de pago para las facturas impagas adeudadas durante la emergencia por condiciones del tiempo extremas.

Para los clientes afectados que soliciten oportunamente un programa de pago, su proveedor de agua y alcantarillado tiene prohibido desconectar el servicio por falta de pago de las facturas adeudadas durante una emergencia por condiciones del tiempo extremas. Sin embargo, una vez que se ofrece un programa de pago, las desconexiones pueden reanudarse si usted (1) se niega a aceptar oportunamente el programa de pago, o (2) viola los términos del programa de pago.

Si tiene una factura de su proveedor de agua y alcantarillado adeudada durante una emergencia por condiciones del tiempo extremas, entonces tiene derecho a solicitar un programa de pago. Póngase en contacto con nuestra oficina: Water District Management 281-376-8802 o por correo electronico

Voluntary Water Use Restrictions

Due to mild water shortage conditions, Prestonwood Forest has initiated Stage 1 of its Drought Contingency Plan. Under this plan, customers are encouraged to voluntarily reduce water consumption by adhering to the following guidelines: Limit irrigation watering to occur no more than two (2) days per week, between the hours of 7:00 pm and 5:00 am. If you have an even numbered address, water only on Thursdays and Sundays. If you have an odd numbered address, water only on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

This plan will remain in effect until notice is given that it has been rescinded, or it may be replaced by a more stringent plan if water shortage conditions worsen. Please check our website at for updates to this situation or call Water District Management at 281-376-8802.

The Rising Costs of Water – Rates Increase

The current rate charged Prestonwood water users by the North Harris County Regional Water Authority (NHCRWA) is $4.10 per thousand gallons usage, this is a $.25 per 1,000-gallon increase over last year. NHCRWA has indicated they plan to implement annual increases in $.50 increments beginning July 1st. This cost is billed to Prestonwood Forest Utility District (PFUD) and will be passed on to the user unchanged. It shows up on your bill as a line item, “NHCRWA”.

Coincidental to these actions, PFUD is facing increased costs for the maintenance of the water and sewer infrastructure. Hurricane Harvey losses were partially recovered through our insurance. However, the need to implement mitigation measures to attempt to reduce any future flood damages from “Harvey”-like or even lesser storm events, plus the strain of maintaining a nearly 50-year-old infrastructure has caused the Board to rethink the water rates currently in place.

The Board has developed a 5-year plan to accomplish repairs, replacements and “Harvey” mitigation improvements with the intent of pay as you go, with no additional tax burden on Prestonwood users. This plan will require adjustments to the water and sewer rates for users.

Prestonwood will still maintain one of the lowest water and sewer rates in the region if not in the United States. The rates reflect the effort to promote conservation as required by State Law. Costs for usage above 5,000 gallons per month will increase incrementally as usage increases. Also, the board reluctantly determined that the “rebate”, which has been given for the last seven years, should also be eliminated to assist in funding improvements to our utility systems. The complete Rate Order is available on the Prestonwood Forest UD website at click on “Rate Order.”

The bottom line – water remains one of the best values we enjoy today. In view of the rising costs, the most effective way for everyone to keep their water costs low is to conserve this precious resource. The cost of water in the future is going to grow. The Board asks that you please read and consider the water conservation materials that we include as inserts in our mail-out bills, on-line at our web-site and as articles in the Prestonwood Press.

∼ Prestonwood Forest Utility District Board of Directors

Why Does the Cost of Water Keep Going Up? (PDF)

Prestonwood Forest Utility District Water Sources

Since the development of Prestonwood Forest subdivision our drinking water has come from two wells drilled into a major aquifer system underlying most of the Houston area. Typically these wells have provided up to one million gallons of water a day during peak demand. However, with the realization of significant subsidence in the Houston area it has been mandatory that all water entities in the area convert to surface water. Subsidence is a significant problem even in our area. The Fm-249 and Fm-1960 area has subsidence of about four feet.

Regional Map of Area Subsidence (PDF)

To minimize subsidence the area needs to stop pumping water from underground aquifers and begin using surface water. The city of Houston has already begun to do this.

Currently the city of Houston obtains about 80% of its water from surface sources. Beginning in early 2011, Prestonwood transitioned from 100% ground water to about 30% surface water and 70% ground water. By 2020 we will need to be on 70% surface water and by 2030 we will jump to 80% surface water. All of this transition takes time and money and is financed by the fees water customers pay to the Northwest Harris County Regional Water Authority (NHCRWA). For Prestonwood Forest Utility District Customers the fee is currently $2.00 per thousand gallons of water. This fee is subject to change and may increase in the future.

This surface water that NWHCRWA uses comes from Lake Houston via Lake Conroe. Water is drawn from Lake Houston by the city of Houston’s northeast water plant, treated, and 31 million gallons a day are delivered to the North Harris County Regional Water Authority’s Spears Road plant. From here it is delivered through a pipe line system to various water districts in north Houston. Prestonwood Forest Utility District receives about 300,000 gallons each day. This volume is supplemented by water from our two wells, treated, and distributed to customers in the district. As we began to use more and more surface water the city of Houston will expand their NE water plant to accommodate the increased volumes to NHCRWA.

The city of Houston has planned for future water supplies beginning back in the early 1950s. The city currently has water rights to 100% of Lake Houston, and 70% of Lake Conroe and 70% of Lake Livingston. They currently take water from the Trinity River for the Southeast Water Plant as part of their Lake Livingston water rights. In addition, a future project called Luce Bayou (named for its proximity to Luce Bayou) will divert some 300 million gallons of water a day from the Trinity River to the city of Houston’s Northeast Water Plant. From this total, up to 159 million gallons of water a day will be sold to NHCRWA and support surface water conversion and growth in north Harris County. The Luce Bayou is projected to begin deliveries to NHCRWA on July 1, 2019.

While normal rainfall in Houston is about 47 inches per year, from 1951 through 1957 the average rainfall in the Houston area was only 36 inches and other parts of Texas were even more severely limited. From 2002 to 2010 the Houston area averaged about 53 inches of rain a year, well above normal. But over the last three years we have been below normal by one inch, 5 inches, and 25 inches (2011 so far).

For 2011, the total rainfall so far is significantly lower than any previous year. With this lower rainfall level, lakes and aquifers are not being recharged as in the past. While we hope that “normal” conditions might return next year, the forecast is for a warmer and drier winter and probably another very dry summer. We may have to get use to dead trees and brown lawns, something that will surely challenge us all.

When you read about Lake Conroe or Lake Houston being lower than normal it is because of the drought and because of the conversion to surface water in the Houston area. And it’s also a warning that water usage and costs are going to be different in the future. Today, Lake Conroe is down about 10 feet from normal levels. This doesn’t sound like much for a lake 200 feet deep, but 10 feet off the top of Lake Conroe reduces the total volume of the lake by 40%. Furthermore, with lower rainfall levels our lakes are being used up and water tables in the aquifers are also dropping.

We need to think seriously about water usage during the coming months. Part of this will certainly be some type of water restrictions. Even though the water district has adequate water resources it doesn’t mean we can use water indiscriminately for any and all purposes. We want to encourage water conservation and through a combination of education, restrictions, and costs we hope to reduce both ground water usage and overall total water demand.