Most LA water systems in compliance for brain-eating amoeba countermeasures
The state Department of Health and Hospitals says more than 95% of all water systems in Louisiana are now up to the new standards implemented under an emergency rule in November 2013. Office of public health assistant secretary J.T. Lane says after a rare brain eating amoeba was detected in DeSoto and St. Bernard, the new rule was put in place.
"We did it for all water systems to help keep people safe and prevent Naegleri fowleri from being able to multiply," said Lane. "It keeps it in control in water systems should it occur."
Lane says the N. fowleri caused three deaths in Louisiana since 2011. He says the new rule also requires water systems to increase testing sites.
"And then also have their sampling plans alternate, so that we are checking all parts of the system," Lane said. "By doing that we're getting a fuller picture about what's going on in the entire system."
Lane says the 73 water systems that are currently not compliant are really close to reaching the new chlorine standard to confirm water is safe for all uses.
"We anticipate many more will be reaching compliance soon," said Lane. "Our district engineers and our field staff will be working with the water systems to make sure they are becoming compliant with the new rule."