St. John The Baptist Parish News Release

Precautions Remain in Place for Water District 1

Precautions Remain in Place for Water District 1

Saturday, August 30, 2014

In response to an Emergency Order issued by the Department of Health and Hospitals due to detection of the Naegleria fowleri ameba in Water District #1, a chlorine burn was initiated at 7:00 a.m. Thursday morning at the Lions Water Treatment Plant. This process involves maintaining 1.0 parts per million (ppm) of free chlorine throughout the system for 60 days and 2.0 parts per million (ppm) for all storage tanks for 30 days. There are no related adverse health effects with this process, but residents may notice some discoloration or cloudiness in the water and slight increases in the smell and taste of chlorine.

This impacts residents in Reserve, Garyville and Mt. Airy, as well as those located west of River Parishes Hospital and on West 5th St. from Apricot St. to Acorn St. who are served by the Lions Plant. The water remains safe for drinking, bathing, and cooking, but residents are advised to take precautions by avoiding water entering deep into the nasal cavity. This also applies to surface water in lakes, ponds, streams and rivers where this type of ameba is known to thrive in hot conditions.

While Water Districts #2 and #3 (West Bank & Ruddock Water Systems) are unaffected, the Utilities Department will take precautionary measures with additional sampling and flushing of hydrants beginning this weekend. As a result, increased levels of chlorine in these systems may be required. Residents should not experience much change in the smell or taste of the water.

As we enter the Labor Day weekend, residents should use caution in swimming pools, blow up pools, slip-n-slides, and other water sports. Swimming pools should be adequately disinfected before and during use. Adequate disinfection includes: Pools: free chlorine at 1-3 ppm and pH 7.2-7.8, and, hot tubs/spas: free chlorine 2-4 ppm or free bromine 4-6 ppm and pH 7.2-7.8. Residents should follow all precautions in pools filled with tap water.

The following are preventative measures recommended by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

• DO NOT allow water to go up your nose or sniff water into your nose when bathing, showering, washing your face, or swimming in small hard plastic/blow-up pools.
• DO NOT jump into or put your head under bathing water (bathtubs, small hard plastic/blow-up pools) - walk or lower yourself in.
• DO NOT allow children to play unsupervised with hoses or sprinklers, as they may accidentally squirt water up their nose. Avoid slip-n-slides or other activities where it is difficult to prevent water going up the nose.
• DO run bath and shower taps and hoses before use to flush out the pipes. This is most important the first time you use the tap after the water utility raises the disinfectant level.
• DO keep small hard plastic/blow-up pools clean by emptying, scrubbing, and allowing them to dry after each use.
• DO use only boiled and cooled, distilled or sterile water for making sinus rinse solutions for neti pots or performing ritual ablutions.
• DO keep your swimming pool adequately disinfected before and during use. Adequate disinfection means:
o Pools: free chlorine at 1-3 parts per million (ppm) and pH 7.2-7.8, and
o Hot tubs/spas: free chlorine 2-4 parts per million (ppm) or free bromine 4-6 ppm and pH 7.2-7.8.
• If you need to top off the water in your swimming pool with tap water, place the hose directly into the skimmer box and ensure that the filter is running. Do not top off by placing the hose in the body of the pool.