What is a MUD

A municipal utility district (MUD) is a political subdivision of the State of Texas authorized by the Texas Commission of Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to provide water, sewer, drainage, and other utility-related services within the MUD boundaries.

A MUD provides a developer an alternate way to finance infrastructure, such as water, sewer, drainage, and road facilities when developments are not located within city limits, or cities are unwilling or unable to extend said services, allowing the cost of infrastructure to be paid over time rather than building it into the initial home price.

MUDS operate with a reimbursement model that requires developers to pay all costs relating to the design and construction of infrastructure and bear the financial risk involved. Once sufficient development has occurred, MUDS will issue tax-free municipal bonds to reimburse the Developers for such costs. The MUD will then levy property taxes within its boundaries to make payments on the bonds.

As the MUD pays off its debt, the tax revenue can be used for additional services, such as security and parks. Tax rates can also be reduced. Ricewood MUD has done both. We contract with Harris County Sheriff’s Office to provide five deputies to patrol the district, and the tax rates have been reduced. The 1993 Tax rate in Ricewood MUD was $1.52 per $100.00 of valuation and the most recent tax rate (2018) is $0.39 per $100.00 of valuation.

The Ricewood Municipal Utility District Board of Directors partners with several consultants in order to bring water and sewer services to District residents. Those consultants include those that operate the water and wastewater facilities that support Ricewood MUD and its neighbors.

In the videos below, Mike Ammel of Environmental Development Partners - a community partner responsible for running the District’s water treatment facilities - explains how water and wastewater plants work. These videos will provide you with a basic understanding of how water gets to your home and is returned to the water cycle after being processed at these facilities.

Where Does Our Water Come From – A Visit to a Water Plant
A video by the North Harris County Regional Water Authority1

Where Does Our Water Go – A Visit to a Waste Water Treatment Plant
A video by the North Harris County Regional Water Authority1

In Ricewood MUD, your monthly water bill includes water, sewer, garbage collection, and a fee to the West Harris County Regional Water Authority (WHCRWA), who is responsible for building infrastructure to bring surface water from the City of Houston to our district.


  1. These videos were not made by Ricewood MUD, and do not describe the specific facilities used by Ricewood MUD. Rather, these videos are meant to provide a general description of how water and wastewater systems and facilities function. They are for general informational purposes only.