Making water safe from "brain eating" amoeba - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Making water safe from "brain eating" amoeba

After three deaths from the so-called "brain eating amoeba," the State Health Department put an emergency rule in place last November to ensure water systems are safe.

Many of the people responsible for safe water are in Lake Charles this week for a conference of the Louisiana Rural Water Association. 

Whether drinking it or cooling off in the heat, people expect their water to be high quality and safe.

John Neilson is from Desoto Parish where someone died from a brain infection caused by an amoeba after using a nasal rinse kit. 

"They did not find the amoeba in my system. She was using a neti pot with unsterilized water. There's several ways it could have gotten there, and no one knows," said Neilson.

Have you ever jumped into a swimming pool and had that uncomfortable feeling of water going up your nose? Neilson says it's that kind of force necessary to cause exposure to the amoeba if it's in the water, though it should not be. 

"Even water that has amoeba in it is not dangerous to the human body. Living in the country, we've all probably been in contact with water that has the amoeba in it, but it's only when it gets in the nasal passages in the brain at a certain life cycle of the amoeba and (it) gets through the little, bitty passage in there. All these factors have to line up for someone to contract this thing," said Neilson. 

Neilson says the emergency disinfectant rule put in place by the health department should assure no problems. 

"We immediately started a free chlorine burn, which cleans out your system, and it eradicates the amoeba from your system," said Neilson.

Rusty Reeves is the Deputy Director of the LRWA.  He says the potential for contamination is when water pressure drops.

"The two cases in Louisiana, from the information that was given to me, it's felt that the amoeba entered the distribution system from a repair that was made and when the repair was made something wasn't done exactly right, and it got into the distribution system from in the ground or from some of the water that was there," said Neilson.

He says just as water systems do,  it's good for homeowners to flush their lines if their water has been off for repairs.

"Flush all your lines throughout your house including your hot water heater.  Flush it well," said Neilson.

If citizens have concerns, Reeves suggests they start with their local provider. Many here will take classes to acquire the latest know how and certification to help assure their local drinking water and waste water systems meet state and federal requirements.  

For more information on clean drinking water click here.  

Copyright 2014 KPLC All rights reserved

  • More Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • Over a decade later and still no completion to the Enterprise Boulevard expansion project

    Over a decade later and still no completion to the Enterprise Boulevard expansion project

    Wednesday, February 21 2018 11:45 PM EST2018-02-22 04:45:40 GMT
    (Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)(Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)

    It was pitched an opportunity to bring economic growth to the north side of Lake Charles, but now ti seems the Enterprise Boulevard Extension project will never come to fruition.  The second phase still hasn't been completed to connect Enterprise Boulevard to Highway 171.  Wednesday night city council member Mary Morris suggested another plan to get things rolling.  Restaurants, condos and retail outlets was suppose to come for North Lake Charles, but it's been ...

    More >>

    It was pitched an opportunity to bring economic growth to the north side of Lake Charles, but now ti seems the Enterprise Boulevard Extension project will never come to fruition.  The second phase still hasn't been completed to connect Enterprise Boulevard to Highway 171.  Wednesday night city council member Mary Morris suggested another plan to get things rolling.  Restaurants, condos and retail outlets was suppose to come for North Lake Charles, but it's been ...

    More >>
  • Louisiana DOTD releases I-10 bridge construction details

    Louisiana DOTD releases I-10 bridge construction details

    Wednesday, February 21 2018 10:04 PM EST2018-02-22 03:04:07 GMT
    (Source: Calcasieu Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness)(Source: Calcasieu Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness)
    The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development announced that construction work on I-10 in Lake Charles is scheduled to begin on March 3. The expansion joints on the I-10 Calcasieu River Bridge need maintenance which will be performed by C.E.C, Inc., a Lafayette-based company. The construction of the I-10 bridge must take place in order to handle the traffic volume anticipated during the upcoming I-210 re-decking project. The $8.5 million project on I-10 ...More >>
    The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development announced that construction work on I-10 in Lake Charles is scheduled to begin on March 3. The expansion joints on the I-10 Calcasieu River Bridge need maintenance which will be performed by C.E.C, Inc., a Lafayette-based company. The construction of the I-10 bridge must take place in order to handle the traffic volume anticipated during the upcoming I-210 re-decking project. The $8.5 million project on I-10 ...More >>
  • State Police: 'See something, say something' using mobile app

    State Police: 'See something, say something' using mobile app

    Wednesday, February 21 2018 10:08 PM EST2018-02-22 03:08:11 GMT
    (Source: See it, Send it app)(Source: See it, Send it app)

    Copycat threats to schools have been report to law enforcement agencies across the country, state, and in Southwest Louisiana. Multiple suspects have been arrested, many charged with terrorizing, which carries a penalty of up to 15 years in prison and/or a maximum fine of $15,000 if charged as an adult. However, according to Louisiana State Police, the majority of the threats received were found to have no credible danger to public safety. "Although we highly encourage cit...

    More >>

    Copycat threats to schools have been report to law enforcement agencies across the country, state, and in Southwest Louisiana. Multiple suspects have been arrested, many charged with terrorizing, which carries a penalty of up to 15 years in prison and/or a maximum fine of $15,000 if charged as an adult. However, according to Louisiana State Police, the majority of the threats received were found to have no credible danger to public safety. "Although we highly encourage cit...

    More >>
Powered by Frankly