8801 Watercress - What Is This?

Neighbors have noticed some unusual constructions at 8801 Watercress. It does not appear to be residential construction. On a regular sized residential lot, twelve stubs for water and electric have been placed around the perimeter and surrounded by a tall fence. Moreover, many trenches have been dug from around the property to the existing septic tank aparently for several drains. When workers were asked what the contruction was for, they were evasive and would not answer.

Neighbors within the Scenic Shores Neighborhood Association fear that the construction represents something other than legitimate residential construction.

Eating Fish From Lake Worth

There is a lot of misinformation about whether or not you should eat fish from Lake Worth. The truth is this. In 2000, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) issued a fish advisory stating that people should not eat the fish at Lake Worth due to PCB contamination.

On November 15, 2010, the DSHS issued a new report showing improvement in fish quality. Four of seven species studied showed improvement:

“DSHS tested tissue samples from seven species of fish as part of a re-evaluation of the lake.

Analysis found levels of PCBs in blue catfish and smallmouth buffalo that exceed DSHS standards, indicating that consumption of those fish pose a risk to human health. The combination of PCBs, aldrin and dieldrin found in channel catfish also pose a risk to human health.

DSHS did not find elevated levels of contaminants in samples of common carp, freshwater drum, largemouth bass or white crappie collected from Lake Worth.”

I have listed the old and new studies below:
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New Study and Advisory Documents (2010):

Characterization of Potential Adverse Health Effects Associated
with Consuming Fish from Lake Worth
- This is the full report describing the study and the resulting advisory.

FAQ’s Associated with the Lake Worth Fish Consumption Advisory - This is a quick set of Frequently Asked Questions regarding report.

Advisory Summary - This is a one page bullet point summary of the advisory.

Texas Department of State Health Services
Fish and Shellfish Consumption Advisory
- This is a one page editorial summary of the advisory.

DSHS Issues Fish Advisory for Lake Worth - This is a one page press release of the study.


Old Advisory Documents (2000):
Texas Department of Health - Study of Fish Quality
Texas Commission on Environmental Quality - Study and Plan for PCB Reduction
Texas Parks and Wildlife - Fish Eating Advisory

Home Security Tips

The following guidelines should be used in reviewing your residential security.

  • Lock up portable valuables (tools, etc.). Don't leave portable valuables visible from street.
  • Put up "No Soliciting" signs.
  • Install motion detecting lights in approapriate places.
  • Appropriately secure firearms.
  • If using a firearm is part of your defensive plan, be proficient in it use (i.e. practice).
  • All entrances, including service doors and gates, should have quality locks--preferably deadbolt.
  • Don't leave keys "hidden" outside the home. Leave an extra key with a trusted neighbor or colleague.
  • Keep doors locked even when you or family members are at home.
  • Have window locks installed on all windows. Use them.
  • Lock louvered windows--especially on the ground floor.
  • Have locks installed on your fuse boxes and external power sources.
  • If you have window grilles and bars, review fire safety.
  • Don't block bedroom windows with permanent grilles if the windows may be used for emergency egress.
  • If you have burglar or intrusion alarms, check and use them.
  • Keep at least one fire extinguisher on each floor, and be sure to keep one in the kitchen. Show family members and household help how to use them.
  • Periodically check smoke detectors and replace batteries when necessary.
  • Keep flashlights in several areas in the house. Check the batteries often, especially if you have children in your home. (They love to play with flashlights!)
  • A family dog can be a deterrent to criminals. But remember, even the best watch-dog can be controlled by food or poison.
  • Do not install separate "doggy doors" or entrances. They also can admit small intruders.
  • Know your neighbors. Develop a rapport with them and offer to keep an eye on each other's homes, especially during trips.
  • If you observe any unusual activity, report it immediately to the police.
  • While at home, you and your family should rehearse safety drills and be aware of procedures to escape danger and get help.
  • Educate family members and domestic help in the proper way to answer the telephone at home.

Home Security While You Are Away

  • Notify your trusted neighbors and/or family members of your departure and return dates but don't otherwise publicize your travel or vacation plans.
  • Leave contact numbers with them.
  • Arrange to have a friend or colleague pick up your newspapers, mail, or other deliveries daily.
  • Secure your home. Close and lock all windows and doors. Don't forget to lock garage or gate doors.
  • Consider purchasing timers to turn on outside and inside lights automatically at various times throughout the night.
  • Check outside lighting and replace older light bulbs. You don't want a light burning out while you are away.
  • Ask a friend or colleague to check your residence periodically, ensuring your furnace or air conditioning is functioning and that timers and lights are working.
  • Unplug all unnecessary appliances such as televisions, stereos, and personal computers.
  • Mow your lawn just before leaving; make arrangements to have someone mow it again if you will be gone for an extended period of time. Also arrange for watering, if that is likely to be needed.
  • If possible, ask a neighbor to park a car in your driveway (if you are taking yours).
  • Lock all jewelry, important papers, currency, and other valuable portables in a safe place such as a safe deposit box or home safe.
  • Ensure all personal and home insurance policies are up-to-date and that your coverage is adequate.