The Scoop on Poop!

We all know that we should be picking up after our pets. It’s the considerate, neighborly thing to do. After all, we certainly don’t like being the recipient of a surprise after a misplaced step while walking in our neighborhood parks or enjoying our own yards. But in addition to being neighborly, considerate and the right thing to do, there are two other main reasons to pick up and properly dispose of your pet’s waste. Pet waste creates both environmental and health problems when left unattended.

Research has shown that the 78 million dogs in the US pile up 20 billion pounds of waste annually. Of that, only 60% of pet owners pick up after their pets, leaving 8 billion pounds of waste to wash away into waterways and reservoirs, polluting drinking water, endangering wildlife and creating potential health hazards for plants, animals, and humans.

Environmental Concerns

When pet waste is left behind, it gets washed into storm drains and creeks by the rain. From there, unlike the separate sanitary sewer system that collects wastewater in your home from your sink, toilet and other appliances, water and other substances deposited in storm drains head straight to local rivers, lakes and bays with no filtering or cleaning. As pet waste goes through the chemical process of decomposition, it uses up large amounts of oxygen in the water. This oxygen reduction is harmful and sometimes fatal to many aquatic species. in addition, the process by which the pet waste is broken down produces by-products that encourage weed and algae growth, which also can be detrimental to aquatic and marine life. Stories of fish kills from algae blooms come to mind.

Health Concerns

One gram of dog waste can contain 23 million fecal coliform bacteria. The average dog excretes 340 grams of waste per day—or 124,100 grams of waste per year. As you can see, dog waste is a very significant host of bacteria, and those bacteria can be harmful to human health if the waste is not disposed of appropriately. Some of the more common diseases caused by pet waste are Campylobacteriosis, Crytosporidium, Toxicariasis, Toxoplasmosis and Salmonellosis. And it’s not just bacteria—dog waste sometimes contains parasites, too, which can include hookworms, roundworms, whipworms, tapeworms and giardiasis. Oh, by the way, dog waste is a major food source for rats, which brings the health concern to a whole other level. It should be no surprise now that pet waste can create serious health concerns!

What to do with Pet Waste

We can pretty much gather by now that simply leaving pet waste where it lies is not an acceptable solution. The best way to deal with pet waste is to collect it and flush it down your toilet so that it undergoes the same treatment as human waste from your home. The next best option is to collect the waste and dispose of it in biodegradable bags along with your other garbage. If no biodegradable bags are available, collect it in a plastic bag and dispose of it in the same manner.

What not to do with Pet Waste

Under no circumstances should pet waste be dumped into storm sewers as that only hastens its trip to the waterways and oceans. Because of all the bacteria that can be contained in pet waste, it should never be used in compost piles or for fertilizer on gardens. It takes chemicals or extreme heat to kill the bacteria and parasites found in dog waste and composting generally doesn’t generate enough heat.

So, let’s not only be health and environmentally conscious neighbors, let’s be considerate, respectful neighbors and pick up after our pets. After all, it’s the right thing to do.

Proposed Annexation of Approximately 55-Acre Tract

In late 2018, two developers, D.R. Horton and the Forestar Group, approached the Fort Bend County MUD No. 146 (District) Board of Directors (Board) requesting that the Board consider annexing into the District an approximately 55-acre tract west of the existing District boundaries, as shown on the map below. They were seeking to develop the tract with approximately 153 single-family homes, which would need to be provided with public utilities, including water supply and distribution, sanitary sewer collection and treatment, and drainage facilities. Pursuant to State law, the District has discretion to determine whether to annex or otherwise provide services to property located outside of its boundaries.

The District requested that its engineer and financial advisor perform analyses, which were funded by the developers, to determine whether it was feasible for the District physically to construct the public water, sanitary sewer, and drainage facilities required to serve the tract, and whether it made sense financially for the District to do so. The analyses showed that the annexation was feasible, so the District and the Developer began negotiating terms for a proposed annexation.

One of the District’s longstanding conditions for any annexation request, including this one, is that the developer enter into an agreement with the Long Meadow Farms Homeowners Association (Association), such that any new development would share a similar “look” and “feel” as the existing community and would be part of the existing community. As required by the District’s annexation policy, we understand that the developers have requested that the Association consider a contractual arrangement to provide access to Long Meadow Farms amenities for the development of the 55-acre tract, and that those discussions are ongoing.

The District has not yet annexed the tract into the District. The District also has not finalized its agreement with the developers for the annexation. Because the tract borders a substantial portion of the District’s western edge, the District is very interested in ensuring that any development is compatible with and beneficial to the existing Long Meadow Farms community. If the annexation does not occur, and the land is purchased by a commercial or other entity, we are concerned that the District will not have input into the type of development or the building guidelines and standards that are constructed on the adjoining property.

The District understands that this issue is of great interest to the community and welcomes all public input. All interested members of the public are invited to attend the District’s Board meetings. In accordance with the Texas Open Meetings Act, each Board meeting agenda is posted at the Welcome Center at least 72 hours in advance of the meeting. The agendas also are posted to the District’s website, at http://www.fbmud146.org. Written comments and questions can be submitted to the District, via http://www.fbmud146.org/contact.

Oyster Creek Aquatic Vegetation Control

The District has received several calls concerning the growth of aquatic vegetation in Oyster Creek. The District owns and maintains the greenbelt area, however the Gulf Coast Water Authority (GCWA) has an easement that contains the creek and holds the rights to the water flowing through the creek. GCWA contracts annually to have aquatic vegetation controlled. Due to the wet spring weather GCWA is behind on vegetation control but stated that residents should begin to see results from the vegetation control program within the next few weeks.

Residents may contact GCWA directly at http://gulfcoastwaterauthority.com.

Unrestrained and Free-Roaming Animals

This spring has seen perfect weather for enjoying the District’s outdoor amenities such as parks, playgrounds, and trails. Often our K9 best friends join us for our daily dose of exercise. The District has seen an increase in the number of reports of unrestrained dogs in area parks, lakes and along trails.

Although your dog may be kind and gentle, many people are very frightened by unrestrained dogs due to a personal bad experience. Unrestrained dogs may be overly enthusiastic with small children, as well as the young-at-heart, which may cause fear of the animal and increase the risk for dog bites or other injuries. Due to the risk of dog bites or other injuries, unrestrained or free-roaming dogs pose a substantial threat to the public. In addition, unrestrained dogs are at increased risk of being bitten by wildlife present in the community, increasing the potential risk of the spread of rabies.

In order to protect the public health and reduce the risk of the spread of disease, including rabies, Fort Bend County has established regulations requiring the restraint of dogs when outside a dwelling. Enforcement of restraint laws is essential in protecting the public using common areas and reducing the risk of disease, including rabies, within the community. As you enjoy the great outdoors with your pet, please help keep our community safe by abiding with dog restraint regulations! The District also encourages you to report all instances of unrestrained dogs. To report a dog bite or other emergency situation, please call 911. For non-emergency reports of unrestrained dogs, please contact Fort Bend County Animal Control Services (281) 342-1512.

Crime Prevention Tips

The holiday season is upon us and while we are all preparing for family festivities, criminals are preparing for opportunities to take advantage of your holiday shopping spree!  The December holiday season historically sees an increase in criminal activities, but motor vehicle theft is one of the most common criminal activities that takes place year-round.

As a homeowner there are a number of things you can do to help avoid being the victim of this type of activity:

  • Always remove your keys, roll up windows, and lock your car. Never leave your keys in the car while you are away, even if your car is parked in your garage.
  • Do not leave valuables in your car, even if they are out of sight. If you have to leave something valuable in your vehicle lock it in the trunk.  If a criminal sees items of value in a vehicle then they are more likely to break into that vehicle.
  • The most common items stolen from vehicles are:
    • GPS Devices
    • DVD Players
    • Handguns
    • Money
    • Briefcases
    • Laptop Computers
    • Purses
    • Smartphones
    • Tools
  • If possible, park your car in your garage, next best alternative is your driveway. Try to avoid street parking, cars parked on the street are broken into more frequently then cars parked in a driveway.
  • Always activate your car alarm if you have one.
  • Report any suspicious activity immediately to the Sheriff’s or Constable’s Office.

The Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office also offers a number of great tips for improving security measures of a residence, as well as a check list of items to be considered before leaving for vacation.  Click on or type the following link to view this information:  https://www.fortbendcountytx.gov/government/departments/administration-of-justice/sheriff-s-office/community-services/crime-prevention-tips.

To report suspicious activity or non-emergency criminal activities you may call:

Fort Bend County Constable Precinct 4 – (281) 242-4014

Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office – (281) 342-6116

Constable Vacation Watch Program

Many people are traveling to visit family during the holidays, residents on vacation or out-of-town for longer than 24 hours are encouraged to utilize the Constable’s vacation watch service. Deputies will check your property routinely throughout their shifts and pay close attention to your property during your absence. Upon your return, you will be mailed a list with dates and times your residence was checked, and a copy of your information. Once a homeowner registers for our house watch program they will be issued a number. The next time you leave town, simply the Constable’s office and reinstate your watch with the current information.

Call 281-242-4014 Monday – Friday, between the hours of 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM, to request a house watch. Your request must be submitted at least 24 hours in advance. Please note that the office is closed on weekends and holidays. Therefore, any requests for weekend house watches must be submitted the preceding Thursday. Late requests will not be received until the following Monday.