On Aug. 28, 2014, the Louisiana Health Department confirmed the presence of a rare brain-eating amoeba in one area of St. John the Baptist Parish’s water system. As reported by Nola.com, the water in Reserve, Garyville, and Mount Air tested positive.
The Naegleria fowleri amoeba was found in St. John’s Water District 1 (12K residents). State officials say St. John is the third water system in Louisiana to test positive for the organism. In 2013, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the presence of the amoeba in the St. Bernard Parish water system. In 2011, the amoeba was blamed for two deaths in DeSoto Parish after testing its water system.
Out of Compliance
In March, St. John’s water system was among 73 areas cited by the state for failure to comply with the emergency order regarding increased chlorination in the drinking water. Evidently, Water District No. 1 was sampled as part of the state’s surveillance program and was found to be out of compliance with maintaining minimum disinfectant levels set to control the Naegleria fowleri amoeba. Furthermore, the state imposed higher disinfectant levels after a 4-year-old boy Mississippi boy contracted the amoeba during a visit to St. Bernard Parish and died.
Although there are no known cases of illness from the amoeba, officials warned residents to take precautions against getting water in their nasal passages. Consequently, this is the amoeba’s route to move to the brain.
Torres Water Company installs and maintains systems to provide safe, secure, uncontaminated sources of fresh water. If you are looking for a residential or business water filtration system, call (504) 838-8345. Most importantly, we provide free water analysis and consultation (valued at $125). Visit us at www.torreswater.com for more info on our products and services.