Chlorine burn begins in Ascension Parish water system to kill 'b - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Chlorine burn begins in Ascension Parish water system to kill 'brain-eating' amoeba

Drums of chlorine arriving at the pump near Donaldsonville close to where the deadly parasite was found in the water. (Source: James Sparvero/WAFB) Drums of chlorine arriving at the pump near Donaldsonville close to where the deadly parasite was found in the water. (Source: James Sparvero/WAFB)
Crews collect a sample from a water tower near Donaldsonville. (Source: James Sparvero/WAFB) Crews collect a sample from a water tower near Donaldsonville. (Source: James Sparvero/WAFB)
DONALDSONVILLE, LA (WAFB) -

Plans to kill a deadly parasite found in the water near a small Ascension Parish community are close to taking effect Wednesday.

What officials call the "brain-eating" amoeba was found two weeks ago in part of the parish’s water system. Now, they say they'll kill it with a lot of chlorine.

The pump where officials said the chlorine will be added to the water system is located about three miles outside of Donaldsonville on LA 944.

Ken Dawson, the chief administrative officer of Ascension Parish, said the chlorine burn will start sometime by Thursday morning. The process will continue for 60 days to kill any remaining amoeba. Three 55-gallon drums of chlorine were delivered Wednesday afternoon. 

The family of Paula Weber received the following message on their answering machine Tuesday. 

"A strong odor will be present. The water is safe to drink," the automated voice in part said.

The Weber family is among the little more than 600 people in the small community of Modeste, which is north of Donaldsonville, who officials say they notified of the change in the smell of their running water. 

"Well it's still to me, kind of dangerous. I wouldn't want to drink the water anyway," said Weber.

Officials insist the water is still safe to drink, just don't get it up your nose. They said that's how the amoeba makes its way into the brain and that's when the parasite can kill you. 

"Oh, that's very scary. It's very scary especially for this area," said Paula Weber.

Paula and her family are now forced to make adjustments to things they do everyday with water.

Things that for most people become second nature, like taking a bath or a shower. 

"I would try and put a towel over my face in order for it not to run anywhere close to my nose or my mouth," said Weber.

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