St. Bernard residents sign petition over water concerns - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

St. Bernard residents sign petition over water concerns

Chalmette, La. - Frustration and fear is how St. Bernard residents describe their feelings about the Centers for Disease Control's recent findings of an amoeba in the parish's water system.

Valerie Theriot decided to start a petition.

"Should I be scared to wash my face? Should I be scared to let my child play in the tub or in the pool?" Theriot asked.

Those who signed the petition say they want answers from parish leaders.

"We want to know why the chlorine levels were so low in the first place. Everybody is at risk right now," said Charlotte Clifton.

"We've always promised transparency, and we're going to continue transparency. There is nothing that will be hidden from the public," said Parish President Dave Peralta

Peralta said the Parish has routinely tested the system for years for levels of chlorine in the water. Chlorine, he said, would kill the parasites.

"You will see there's been various levels of chlorine throughout the 32 testing sites around the Parish, but there's always been chlorine found in the water," Peralta said.

The Centers for Disease Control conducted tests following  the death of a 4-year-old boy who was visiting a Violet home back in July. The cause of death was a brain-eating amoeba found in the water.

Positive results came from hydrants and individual homes at four sites in Arabi and Violet.

"We're going to continue to research what we've been doing, but more importantly, we are making sure that there are no problems," Peralta said.

For weeks now, the Parish has been flushing the system with extra chlorine.

Peralta insists there's nothing to hide about what's being done now or what has been done in the past concerning the water system.

The St. Bernard Parish Water and Sewer Committee plans to meet Thursday about the amoeba concerns. Committee members will address test results and precautionary measures being taken.

The meeting is set for 5:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers at the St. Bernard Parish Government building.

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