St. John The Baptist Parish News Release

Water District #1 Tests Negative for Ameba

Water District #1 Tests Negative for Ameba

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH) confirmed results from water samples taken on June 10, 2015 in Water District #1 tested NEGATIVE for the presence of Naegleria fowleri ameba.  Water District #1 includes Reserve, Garyville, and Mt. Airy.  Negative results were also obtained on December 19, 2014, ending precautions for residents initiated following notification of positive results on August 27, 2014.  The recent sampling was conducted during warmer weather as a precautionary measure.   

Since testing positive for ameba, Administrative staff, the Utilities Department and third party consultants have taken vigorous steps 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 installed and all water lines were flushed with additional chlorine.  Water towers were also drained, treated and refilled.  Daily sampling and flushing will continue parish wide to ensure chlorine levels are in compliance with DHH's Emergency Rule.

Efforts to improve water quality and ensure that it is safe are ongoing.  “Our work is not done, but we are much better off than we were and are well on our way to making sustainable changes throughout the parish,” said Parish President Natalie Robottom.