Round the clock drilling causing hardship for Katy area homeowners

By R. Hans Miller | News editor

A new town of Katy water well dug directly across from Bryant Elementary School on Kingsland Boulevard is worrying residents living right next to the drilling operation. Resident Jason Orr says constant drilling keeps his family and neighbors from sleeping at night.

“My wife is recovering from cancer surgery last week and she can’t even sleep in her own house,” Orr said in an interview on Friday afternoon.

Drilling is expected to run around the clock almost every day for the next four weeks, a statement from Katy City administrator Byron Hebert said. Drilling there is intended to increase the capacity of an emergency interconnect for Willow Creek Farms, he said, and will make up for shortfalls in the past when the city was unable to provide emergency capacity. . Once the No.7 Water Plant that the well is associated with comes online, that capacity should be there if needed, Hebert said.

“According to our project engineer, the project will have approximately 4 weeks of 24-hour operation. Due to the proximity of the houses, a noise barrier has now been installed,” Hebert’s statement read. “According to the contractor, performing a 24 hour operation is standard procedure for this industry, and is necessary to protect the integrity of the well as construction progresses.”

However, a statement from Willow Creek Farms Municipal Utilities District Chairman J. Sawyer said that no increase in interconnection capacity has been requested by MUD. However, this indicates that an existing interconnector has been around for at least 2015 and has been used at least twice in recent months, most recently during winter storm Uri in February.

Orr said the drilling, which the reviews said would be shut down 24 hours a day on Saturday night, unexpectedly.

In response, Hebert said the contractor temporarily stopped drilling to install steel casing in the well channel to support it.

“Once they finished placing the necessary casing, they cemented the annulus between the casing and the well hole. It ended on Sunday morning. The ring seal requires a 24 hour curing period before continuing with construction operations, ”Hebert’s statement read.

Orr said one of his main concerns, aside from the noise and vibrations under the floor of his house, was that no information had been provided by the city to date on how the drilling would have an impact on the foundations of neighboring houses or on the value of their properties. houses. Construction of the new water plant has been underway for some time, he said, with the water tower first installed, followed by painting the tower and now drilling. While he understands that construction must now be completed, he would like to hear about how the value and security of his home has been affected.

Orr and his neighbors along Willowmoor Lane, just outside the city limits of Katy, have been going through the construction process for about a year now, he said.

In an email to Katy’s management, Orr expressed concerns about violations of noise ordinances, safety concerns over items hung by a crane passing over his property, and living conditions. generally poor – despite a noise barrier that has been put in place – are both worrying. and disruptive, especially given the lack of response from Katy’s management.

“I apologize if my tone sounds harsh, that’s not my intention.” A major year of construction next to the rooms we work and sleep in has taken its toll, ”Orr wrote in the May 12 email. “My wife is sick and the lack of response is a bit insulting.”

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