Results of Independent Audit of District Billing System and Procedures

In response to concerns raised by residents at the October 1, 2015, special meeting of the Board of Directors (the “Board”), regarding unusually high water usage and utility bills in the August and September 2015 timeframe, a self-selected committee of residents recommended and the Board decided to engage BDO to conduct an independent audit of the District’s billing system and procedures performed by the District’s Operator, Environmental Development Partners.

The Board reviewed BDO’s Phase 1 report, which is available through the link below, at its January 13, 2016, meeting. The report provides that BDO observed the meter reading process, obtained the billing data for each District customer for the time period November 1, 2014, through October 31, 2015, and ran diagnostic tests on the August and September 2015 billing cycles. The report states that no issues or exceptions were identified with the meter reading process and the billing system and procedures.

BDO has prepared a Phase 2 proposal, which provides for BDO to run full diagnostic tests for all billing cycles during the previous 24 months and issue a full report to the Board. The Board plans to consider the proposal at its next meeting in February.

The Board would like to thank all of the residents for your input regarding this important matter.

Click here for BDO’s Phase 1 report.

Oyster Creek Dredging and Desilting Operations by Gulf Coast Water Authority

Beginning January, 2016 the Gulf Coast Water Authority (GCWA) will be working on a dredging and desilting project in Long Meadow Farms in their easement along Oyster Creek. The project will include the dredging and cleaning of Oyster Creek to improve water flow and capacity of the water way. Work will commence on the West (upstream) side of Long Meadow Farms, and on the North side of Oyster Creek. Work efforts will move East (downstream) as the project progresses. GCWA will be working on both the North and South sides of Oyster Creek within the GCWA easement throughout this process. Dredge spoil removed from Oyster Creek will be spread along the creek’s bank within the GCWA easement for drying which is estimated to take six months to a year depending on weather conditions. Once the spoil material has dried, it will be spread and leveled along the banks of the creek. Use of the trail along the creek should not be impacted.

For inquiries related to this project please contact Gulf Coast Water Authority during office hours, Monday through Thursday, 6:30 AM – 5:00 PM, by phone at 281-331-3137 or David Hudson at 281-932-1047.

Now Available: Water Rate Comparison/Survey

EDP has worked with the board liaison to review and analyze the remaining water rate structures and have selected two proposed rate structures.  The rate structures are available in the PDF below for residents to review.

The board invites you to to review the rate structures and submit your feedback via the website’s contact form which can be found by clicking here.

Update on Reports of High Water Usage

The Fort Bend County MUD No. 146 Board of Directors (the “Board”) held a special meeting, on October 1, 2015, to listen to resident questions and concerns regarding the recent high water usage and utility bills. The Board takes these concerns seriously and generated the following list of action items at the end of the meeting:

  • The Board instructed its operator to not send upcoming delinquent letters and decided it will not impose any late charges on these current bills until after the Board can more fully discuss and investigate the concerns raised regarding high water usage and utility bills at the Board’s regular meeting scheduled for Wednesday, October 14th, at 5:00 p.m. at the Long Meadow Farms Welcome Center.
  • The Board plans to compare the District’s water rates to other nearby districts and consider restructuring the water usage tiers and rates.
  • A self-appointed committee of residents (coordinating the scope with a Board liaison) will research and identify 2-3 independent audit firms that the Board will select from to conduct an independent audit of water usage calculations and the billing process and systems. This is in addition to the District’s independent financial audit already performed annually by a CPA.
  • The Board plans to continue its policy of asking the operator to hire an independent third party to do meter accuracy testing on randomly selected resident water meters, but also agreed to independently test the meter of any resident with unusual high usage who requests a test.
  • The Board plans to post master water meter testing/calibration information on the District’s website.
  • The Board plans to investigate reports of utility bills reflecting identical usage for certain months in the last several years and to ensure that meters are manually being read as reported.
  • The Board plans to determine the cost to use door tags on the dates the meters are read and the cost to install automated meters that electronically provide hourly or daily usage data to residents via phone apps or computer software.
  • The Board will obtain more information from EDP regarding the error tolerance of hand held meter reading equipment and discuss potential changes to the error tolerance.
  • EDP and the Board plan to investigate reports of poor customer service from EDP representatives.

Water Saving Tips

Water Saving Tips For Inside the Home

The average American family uses 320 gallons of water per day, make use of these tips to help save on your utility bill, and conserve water in your community.

    • Check all toilets in the house for leaks twice a year and repair a leaking toilet immediately.
    • Repair or replace dripping or leaking faucets and waterlines.
    • When washing dishes by hand, use a sink full of soapy water. Don’t let the water run continuously.

Click here for more water saving ideas.

Water Produced and Sold Facts

In response to customer inquiries concerning water bills received this month, the Board of Directors of Fort Bend MUD 146 would like you to have the following information to help answer questions.

  • As you may know, FB MUD 146 is required by law and by the Fort Bend Subsidence District to convert from using groundwater to using surface water. Surface water costs substantially more to produce than groundwater. The North Fort Bend Water Authority (NFBWA) is responsible for coordinating the conversion to surface water. More information about the NFBWA is available at: http://www.nfbwa.com/.
  • During the period of July 4, 2015 to August 11, 2015, no rainfall was recorded in the District.
  • Since the water meters were read on July 24, 2015, the District has rechecked approximately 100 water meters, and the recheck confirmed that all meter readings are correct.
  • The amount of water billed to customers increased by approximately 15 million gallons during the billing cycle from June 24, 2015 to July 24, 2015 and by an additional approximately 16.3 million gallons during the billing cycle from July 24, 2015 to August 24, 2015.
  • During the billing cycle from July 24, 2015 to August 24, 2015 the District produced a total of 62,452,000 gallons of water.

Click here to view detailed information.