Message from Sheriff Ed Gonzalez – We Are Stronger Together!

During the COVID-19 pandemic, our deputies, detention officers, and support staff are working around the clock to ensure our residents remain safe. But it’s extremely challenging for us to do our job without potentially being exposed to the virus. The reality is that we are not immune. Within the last week, seven teammates — six deputies and one civilian clerk — tested positive for coronavirus. Please join me in praying for a speedy, full recovery.

We are working with Harris County Public Health to identify co-workers, inmates, and members of the public who may have had close contact with the diagnosed employees so they can take necessary precautions, including a quarantine and testing those with symptoms.

This week, the county’s Stay Home, Work Safe Order was implemented, and our primary goal is to encourage voluntary compliance. In the overwhelming number of cases, a warning is all it takes to inspire compliance. Violators who ignore warnings can face possible fines and arrest for those who put our community at risk. Let’s not let it come to that. We are all in this together. Please stay home for us!

Stay Home, Work Safe Order

As our agency moves forward with enforcement of the county’s Stay Home, Work Safe order, we want you to know some important information.

Mental Health

Launched in 2017 with an eye toward the future, our telehealth program has been a game-changer and proved timely during this pandemic. COVID-19 has inspired stress throughout the nation, especially among our first responders. Our Clinician and Officer Remote Evaluation Program (CORE) offers direct access to a master’s level mental health clinician from The Harris Center for Mental Health and IDD, via teleconferencing technology through an iPad. This allows patrol deputies to better assess mental health consumers out in the field in an attempt to reduce transports and hospitalizations.

We are equipping 100 deputies, including our Field Training Officers, with this technology. Deputies are currently being trained to assist them during this pandemic. We are training three to five deputies at a time, by the end of next week the training will be completed. Please remember, if you are in a mental health crisis, please know that you’re not alone, help is always available. Call 911 or 713-221-6000.

Today, we welcomed 21 new teammates into our family. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our Basic County Corrections Course graduation ceremony was canceled but we did have a private small gathering for our new teammates. Now they are ready to serve our community. I wish all of you the best, and I know that you will be mentored by the best leaders and teammates. Serve with honor, and live up to the words on your patch, Pride of Texas.

We know our residents understand the severity of the pandemic. And everyone is doing all they can to keep themselves, their families and neighbors safe and healthy. The sacrifices you’re making are not in vain. We are stronger together! God bless you, and God bless the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.

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Disinfecting Wipes are Being Flushed Down Toilets and Causing Major Pipe Problems

(CNN) Disinfecting wipes are helping people combat the spreading of germs amid the coronavirus pandemic.

But some experts say the wipes, arguably the supply that’s been used to clean surfaces in homes the most, are harming sewers.

Why? Because people are flushing wipes down toilets, rather than dumping them in the trash.

Now, public agencies around the nation are urging people to solely throw their wipes in the trash, warning that not doing so could cause blockages and damage to sewer systems.

Wipes cause sewage issues

Facilities across California have already reported issues with their sewer collection systems, the state’s Water Resources Control Board said.

Many cities in California use centralized sewage collection systems that rely on gravity and water flow to move along waste, according to regulators. Toilet paper dissolves in those systems, where as wipes and paper towels don’t break down so easily.

“Flushing wipes, paper towels and similar products down toilets will clog sewers and cause backups and overflows at wastewater treatment facilities, creating an additional public health risk in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic,” the state’s Water Resources Control Board said in a news release.

Other state agencies across the country — including the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, the Lawrence Department of Public Works in Massachusetts and the Charleston Water System in South Carolina — have issued similar warnings.

Not even ‘flushable’ wipes are safe, some officials say

A shortage in toilet paper due to panic buying could mean that people have turned to using flushable wipes. But some water professionals caution that “flushable wipes,” and disinfecting wipes in general, aren’t really flushable.

Wipes can cause damage to sewer systems and equipment even if they are labeled “flushable” or “septic-safe,” according to the New York City Department of Environmental Protection.

Many wipes are made of synthetic materials. These materials, when combined with other personal hygiene products that are flushed and grease that is poured down drains, create what waste workers refer to as “fatbergs” in sewers.

“When a product is labeled ‘flushable’ it generally means that it will clear your toilet bowl,” the department states on its website. “It does not mean it will definitely clear your pipes or break down in the sewer system or at a wastewater treatment plant.”

The Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry, a global trade association that includes major manufacturers of flushable wipes, argues that flushable wipes don’t pose a danger to sewage systems.

The organization released guidelines in 2018 that detail what criteria wipes should meet to be labeled as “flushable.” If the wipes pass the test, they’re safe to go down septic systems.

Other organizations have more stringent flushability standards. According to the International Water Services Flushability Group, an organization that represents water professionals, wipes have to meet three main criteria to be considered flushable. They must:

  • Break into small pieces quickly.
  • Not be buoyant.
  • Only contain ingredients that will readily degrade in natural environments.

But because people often flush all kind of wipes, it’s hard to determine whether “flushable wipes” are indeed safe.

Given the concerns of many wastewater treatment plants at the moment, it’s probably wise to heed this advice: Save your pipes. Don’t flush wipes.

Message from Sheriff Ed Gonzalez – Let’s Flatten the Curve Harris County!

My team and I are committed to protecting our workforce, community, and jail population against the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

I want to assure our community that our commitment to serve and protect will not change during this challenging time. Every call means potential contact with someone who could be contagious. That’s why our patrol deputies have been given cleaning materials that they are using to disinfect their vehicles any time they are called upon to transport a suspect.

We are working to reduce non-essential contact between residents and deputies by temporarily restricting public access to our substations. All HCSO storefronts and substations will remain staffed — but closed to the public — as part of our efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19. While you will be unable to obtain offense and accident reports in person, these services are available online. Please click here for offense reports, and here for accident reports.

We have assigned more deputies to take non-emergency crime reports by phone at 713.221.6000 and online here to help with this measure. Click here for some of the types of reports they’re taking. As always, call 911 for an emergency that threatens anyone’s safety.

We are also implementing safety measures in our jail to protect our staff and those who are entrusted in our care. Cleaning crews have increased the frequency of cleaning operations. All employees and volunteers entering the jail system are being checked for fever each time they enter the building.

We also created a short informational video for our inmates, concerning the importance of proper cellblock sanitation, hand washing, and what to do if they believe they are getting sick. Additional staff members have also been assigned to field calls on the Inmate Care Concern phone line to help family and friends share concerns about the quality of care their loved ones are receiving. You can call 713-274-7477, Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Inmate Care Concerns may also be submitted online here.

As we continue to see more COVID-19 cases, we’re reminding our residents to take the necessary steps to protect themselves and remain vigilant. The Harris County Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management created an SMS messaging service to keep residents informed.

To get regular updates text CV19 to 888777. You will receive regular SMS texts with the latest news and developments. If you want an assessment and advice on symptoms, please call Harris Health System’s Ask My Nurse seven days a week from 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. at 713-634-1110. To get more information please click here.

Prevention tips:

It’s also important to practice social distancing to slow the spread and to flatten the curve. And don’t forget to follow the World Health Organization advice of following five simple steps:

  • Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds. If you can’t wash your hands, use a hand sanitizer that has at least 60 percent alcohol.
  • Cough/sneeze into your elbow.
  • Don’t touch your face.
  • Stay more than 3ft (1m) away from others.
  • Stay home if you feel sick.

During these difficult times, it’s important to take care of our mental health. The Harris Center for Mental Health and IDD activated the COVID-19 Mental Health Support Line 833-251-7544 to help our community. Remember, you are not alone.

As the COVID-19 crisis continues to rapidly evolve, we know that with the support of our residents we can flatten the curve. We will get through this together. God bless you, and God bless the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.

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Directors Election

The next election for Harris County Municipal Utility District No. 150 will be held on November 3, 2020.

Early Voting

  • For voting locations, sample ballot, and further information, visit
  • Early voting period: October 13, 2020 through October 30, 2020, 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. at any voting location in Harris County.

Election Day

  • For voting locations, sample ballot, and further information, visit
  • November 3, 2020, 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. at any voting location in Harris County.

Director candidacy filing requirements and deadlines are as follows:

To run for election to the District’s Board of Directors, a person must file an application for a place on the ballot. The application must be filed with the District’s Attorney (Marks Richardson PC) by mail, fax or in person. An application may be downloaded/printed from the website of the Texas Secretary of State at

  • First day to file for place on November 3, 2020 general election ballot is January 15, 2020.
  • Last day to file for place on November 3, 2020 general election ballot is by 5:00 p.m. on February 14, 2020.
  • A person may run for election to the District’s Board of Directors as a write-in candidate and to do so must file a declaration of write-in candidacy. The declaration must be filed with the District’s Attorney (Marks Richardson PC) by mail, fax or in person. A declaration form may be downloaded/printed from the website of the Texas Secretary of State at
  • Deadline to file write in candidacy declaration for November 3, 2020 general election is by 5:00 p.m. on February 18, 2020.

To be qualified to serve as a Director, a person must be: (1) at least 18 years old; (2) a resident citizen of the State of Texas; and (3) either: (a) own land subject to taxation in the District; or (b) be a qualified voter within the District.
(Texas Water Code, Section 54.102)