Wastewater Treatment Frequently Asked Questions

Where does the water go once it’s used?

Used water (also known as wastewater) is gravity fed or pumped through the wastewater collection system to one of our three wastewater treatment plants. The water is then cleaned and returned to area basins, creeks, or tributaries; where it flows downstream and is used for various purposes. It is a little known fact that the treated wastewater we return to the creek is much cleaner than the water that is currently in the creek. We consistently meet stringent state and EPA wastewater standards and have won awards for our wastewater treatment facility operations.

How do you treat the sewage?

For information on our treatment process please click here

What do I do if I have an odor outside or sewage coming up in my house?

If you notice a wastewater odor outside or sewage coming up in your home, please contact the Woodlands Joint Powers Agency (WJPA) at 281-367-1271.

What do I do if I have sewer odor in my house?

Run fresh water in all sinks to fill traps (the piping under sinks that has a “C”- shaped curve) inside the house. If this does not cure the problem, check the toilet and make sure it’s firmly attached to the floor; the wax seal around the toilet may be compromised. If this does not work, please contact the Woodlands Joint Powers Agency (WJPA) at 281-367-1271.

What is water (effluent) reuse?

Water (effluent) reuse is a process that uses highly treated wastewater in place of potable or drinking water for various purposes including: landscape and agricultural irrigation; heating and cooling; industrial processing; wetland habitat creation, restoration and maintenance; and groundwater recharge. The majority of states in the U.S. have established criteria or guidelines for the beneficial use of recycled water.

The Woodlands Wastewater Treatment Plant No. 1 has an effluent reuse permit that allows SJRA to send up to 600,000 gallons per day to Lake Harrison. This reuse is partially used to irrigate a nearby golf course.