Water Quality in the State of Texas

Texas is the second largest state in the US by area and population with 28.7 million people in an area of 268,581 square miles. The State’s economy is strong and stable; the main industries are cattle, oil & gas, timber, mining and cotton. Texas has some of the hardest water in the US. In addition, the drinking water in some Texan cities has unwanted contaminants.


Water Hardness by City

When rain falls, it gathers in lakes and aquifers. Rock formations in these bodies of water begin to slowly melt and enrich the water with dissolved minerals. The greater the amount of dissolved minerals in the water, the harder it is. In Texas, the water hardness average is over 200 PPM, which ranks it as the state with the 6th hardest water in the US. While some cities have moderately soft water, like College station with 8 PPM and Waco at 41 PPM, most Texas cities struggle with hard water issues.  For example, Austin’s water is 184 Parts Per Million, San Antonio has a water hardness of 197 PPM and Midland’s water is an extremely hard 500 PPM.


For information on water hardness levels in Texan cities with over 100,000 residents, please see table below.


City Water Hardness Data
Amarillo 248 PPM (mg/L) or 14 gpg
Abilene 284 PPM (mg/L) or 17 gpg
Arlington 94 PPM (mg/L) or 5 gpg
Austin 184 PPM (mg/L) or 11 gpg
Beaumont 31 PPM (mg/L) or 2 gpg
Brownsville 57 PPM (mg/L) or 3 gpg
College Station 8 PPM (mg/L) or 0 gpg
Corpus Christi 227 PPM (mg/L) or 13 gpg
Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex 140 PPM (mg/L) or 8 gpg
Greater Houston 135 PPM (mg/L) or 8 gpg
Killeen 168 PPM (mg/L) or 10 gpg
El Paso 119 PPM (mg/L) or 7 gpg
Lewisville 114 PPM (mg/L) or 7 gpg
Longview 63 PPM (mg/L) or 4 gpg
Laredo 260 PPM (mg/L) or 15 gpg
Lubbock 243 PPM (mg/L) or 14 gpg
McAllen 243 PPM (mg/L) or 14 gpg
Midland 500 PPM (mg/L) or 30 gpg
Odessa 360 PPM (mg/L) or 21 gpg
Round Rock 187 PPM (mg/L) or 11 gpg
San Angelo 356 PPM (mg/L) or 21 gpg
San Antonio 197 PPM (mg/L) or 11 gpg
Tyler 46 PPM (mg/L) or 3 gpg
Victoria 150 PPM (mg/L) or 9 gpg
Waco 41 PPM (mg/L) or 2 gpg
Whitchita Falls 50 PPM (mg/L) or 3 gpg


PPM = Parts Per Million

mg/L = Milligrams Per Liter

gpg = Grains Per Gallon


Oil, Gas and Water Hardness

Texas has been the leading US state in oil and natural gas production since 1940. Last year, Texas garnered the highest oil production in the state’s history, generating 1.59 billion barrels of oil for the year of 2018. Many of the oil fields in Texas originate from two formations, The Permian Basin and the Eagle Ford Shale. The biggest oil cities are Houston, Austin, Dallas, San Antonio and Midland. The oil and gas industry uses water in all parts of operation and that water is often locally sourced from groundwater, rivers or lakes (both natural and artificial). As Texas is a hard water state, oil and gas producers are often fighting to keep their operations running and their equipment scale free.Mining is also a major contributor to the Texas economy. The mining sector in Texas consumes significant amounts of water that can be as hard as 15,000 PPM. 



Solutions to your Water Quality Problems

Fixing your water quality issues in the state of Texas will depend on your specific water source. It is best to test your potable water supply in order to get a better understanding of your water quality. Testing is relatively cheap. The test results will allow you to understand if your potable water has issues that need to be addressed. Common solutions to water contamination problems may include a water filtration system, a reverse osmosis system or other whole home water treatment solutions.


A problem that almost all Texas residents will have to deal with is hard water. One old-fashioned, inefficient, expensive and unhealthy method to treat hard water is with a salt-based water softener. Most people don’t realize that if you’re using a water softener you are basically removing calcium and magnesium from your drinking water and adding salt to your diet. In addition, many states are banning the use of salt-based water softeners. 


Alternative water treatment solutions such as “water conditioners” have been gaining popularity in recent years because they are cheap to operate and the best eco-friendly solution for hard water. Hydropath technology, which powers the HydroFLOW water conditioners is by far the most efficient and cost-effective eco-friendly solution to deal with hard water problems. To learn more about how HydroFLOW solves the problems created by hard water, please check out our technology page. You might want to read this blog that explains the difference between water conditioners and water softeners: Water Conditioner vs. Water Softener Blog.


Water Contaminants in Texas

According to research published by the Environmental Working Group in 2018, 37 water utilities reported violation of federal standards for radium. Other studies report that several utilities, serving a total of 51,000 people, are above the federal legal limit for arsenic. There have also been issues of cities failing to test for lead and copper.


For more information on Texas contaminants see table below. Averages are pulled from the Environmental Working Group Texas page and various city water quality reports.


Contaminant Average
Arsenic 1.99 PPB
Trihalomethane (TTHM) 25.8 PPB
Uranium  N/A
Haloacetic acids (HAA5) 12.6 PPB
Lead  >0.9 PPB
Copper  3.78 PPB
Turbidity  1 NTU
Iron  489 PPB
Chloromine  3.06 PPM
Total Coliform Bacteria N/A




PPB - Parts Per Billion

PPM - Parts Per Million

NTU - Nephelometric Turbidity Units


For more information, please contact HydroTech Solutions