St. John Parish takes steps to ensure water safety

St. John, La. - As a result of the recent detection of an amoeba in two parish water systems, St. John Parish has implemented additional sampling and testing procedures to ensure the water supply remains safe.

The Utilities Department has also increased the levels of chlorine and ammonia in the water system to control bacterial growth as recommended by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals.

Two chlorine burns have been conducted and distribution lines have been flushed with additional chlorine as a precaution.

During this process, residents may notice a change in the smell and taste of the water throughout the parish; however it remains safe to drink.

Residents are advised to take personal actions to protect themselves from potential exposure to ameba by limiting the amount of water entering the nasal passage while bathing or swimming.

"It is important to remember that the water is safe to drink; the amoeba cannot infect an individual through the stomach," said Louisiana State Health Office Dr. Jimmy Guidry.