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Test Results Negative for Naegleria Fowleri Ameba in St. John Water System #1

Friday, December 19, 2014

St. John the Baptist Parish – This morning, the Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH) confirmed results from water samples taken earlier this month in Water District #1 have tested negative for the presence of Naegleria fowleri ameba.  State health officials credit Parish compliance with higher chlorine levels in Water District #1, which includes Reserve, Garyville, Mt. Airy and West 5th St. from Apricot St. to Acorn St, for eliminating the ameba. Water is safe for all uses. 

The St. John Parish Utilities Department will continue a 1.0 mg/l free chlorine treatment and plan to switch back to a chloramine system after January 1, 2015. Residents will be notified of this change in advance.

Since the detection of ameba on August 27, Administrative staff, the Utilities Department and third party consultants have taken vigorous measures to eliminate the organism from the water system.  A chlorine burn was administered for 60 days in the affected district; over 20 automatic flushers were added and all water lines flushed with additional chlorine.  Water towers were also drained, treated and refilled.

Daily samples at the Point of Entry (POE) and the Maximum Resident Time (MRT) will continue to be recorded and submitted to DHH for all Parish water systems.  “Our team has worked closely with DHH officials throughout this entire process and made immediate adjustments to our systems to protect our residents,” said Parish President Robottom. “We want to thank our residents for their patience and cooperation and reassure them that we will continue our all-out efforts to ensure this never happens again.”

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