You can leave the water filters packaged on the shelves.

For at least the second consecutive year, Harker Heights won the Total Coliform Rule Program Award for 2011-2012 from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

Public Works Director Mark Hyde praised the work of his eight water employees in quickly sealing leaks and clearing flushed water.

“We’ve won it several times,” he said. “It recognizes our employees for doing a good job and keeping our system moving forward in good condition.”

The award recognizes public water systems that have 24 consecutive months without any laboratory water testing violations, City Manager Steve Carpenter said. Heights sent 30 samples each month.

Coliform is an indicator of bacteria such as E. coli. To minimize coliform content, water systems must maintain a density of 0.5 milligrams of chlorine per liter.

Sanitizing chemicals like chlorine protect, or harden, the water from bacteria, Hyde said.

Some residents use water filters to eliminate faint chlorine tastes.

“I have a water filter on the house, just to make sure it’s clean,” said Iowa Drive resident Velton Walker. “Hard water is not hard water anymore.”

Other Heights residents agree with Hyde that their water is clean.

“I think it’s OK,” said Shawnee Drive resident Esther Kent. “We’re from Georgia. ... Over there, you can really smell it because there was chlorine in the water.”

Harker Heights was one of 5,389 water systems in Texas to win the award.

There are 7,000 water systems in the state, Hyde said.

The department received the same award in 2010 and 2006 when the award criteria was for 60 consecutive months without any laboratory testing violations.

Contact Brian Bradley at or (254) 501-7567

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