Water testing underway for brain-eating amoeba in Modeste, LA

Water testing underway for brain-eating amoeba in Modeste, LA

Modeste, LA (WAFB) - Ascension Parish has started tests on the tap water near Donaldsonville, LA to see if a brain-eating amoeba is gone. Parish officials say testing began Thursday after a 60-day chlorine burn.

A July test found the parasite in the water system for the town of Modeste, just outside of Donaldsonville.

DHH notified officials in late July that the Naegleria fowleri amoeba was found in the Ascension Consolidated Utility District 1 at the Brou Road site in Donaldsonville. The water system serves approximately 1,800 residents in a small community north of Donaldsonville.

The water has been safe to drink, but residents were told to avoid getting water in their noses.

The station where the amoeba was found did not meet the chlorine disinfectant level, but three other sites that were tested did meet the requirements and came back negative for the amoeba.

DHH had tested the water system as part of the state's new public drinking water surveillance program and conducts the tests each summer when the temperatures rise.

The agency has tested 12 other water systems so far, and only St. Bernard Parish tested positive on July 22.

Naegleria fowleri amoeba occurs naturally in freshwater.

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