Earlier this week, Ascension and St. Bernard Parish officials said Naegleria fowleria amoeba, commonly knows as “brain-eating amoeba,” had been found in their water systems.
Officials with the City of Minden say the chances of the parasite contaminating city water is unlikely.
“It’s not very likely (contamination) because we keep our chlorine level so high,” Rick Broussard, city water and wastewater manager said. “We
usually go into the system at the water plant with .9 parts per million and at the end of the system we usually register a .6 or .7 parts per million.”
In 2013, the state Health Department issued an emergency rule requiring water systems in Louisiana to maintain a minimum disinfectant level of .5 milligram of disinfectant per liter of water throughout the system.
Broussard says that by maintaining a good chorine level through out the system helps fight off any contaminants.
Maintaining the chlorine at the required levels is not the only precaution taken to ensure the city’s water is safe. Broussard says the health department tests samples on a monthly basis.
“We have 30 test sites in the system, one month we will send in samples from 15 sites in the system and the next month we send in from the other 15. They are from all parts of the system,” he said. “They will test to see if we have any coliform in the water and we do a chorine residual test on a regular basis.”
The City of Minden’s water is supplied by nine wells in the Sparta Aquifer, Broussard said.
He says the last batch of samples were sent in around the second week of July and no contaminates were found.
The parasite has caused three deaths in Louisiana — in DeSoto and St. Bernard parishes, since 2011.