Chlorine boosters coming to fight amoeba
DONALDSONVILLE - Ascension Parish will install chlorine boosters on two of its rural water systems after a brain-eating amoeba was detected in those systems last month.
Parish officials will install one booster to inject chlorine directly into the water supply at the ACUD#1 and the ACUD#2 water systems in the southwest corner of the parish. The amoeba was found in the ACUD#1 system where a 60 day chlorine burn is currently underway.
By law, chlorine is added to all water systems. The two Ascension Parish systems aren't always able to push the chlorine to the end of the water line, however, because they are sparsely populated areas where there aren't enough customers to pull the water to the end.
The boosters are estimated to cost $30,000 each, paid for by state and federal grants. Parish officials hope to have the boosters installed next spring before it gets hot.
The amoeba, named Naegleria fowleri, is a naturally occurring microorganism that thrives in warm surface water. State health officials say contaminated water is safe to drink but it poses a risk to people if they get the water far up their nose.
Three contaminations have been identified in water systems across the state this summer. No illnesses have been connected to any outbreak.