Water in part of Terrebonne tests positive for brain-eating amoeba

Water in part of Terrebonne tests positive for brain-eating amoeba
Updated: Jun. 11, 2018 at 3:42 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

"It's scary," says Debra Martin.

People who live and work in Pointe-Aux-Chenes aren't taking any chances after a brain-eating amoeba is discovered in their water line.

"This was an independent test that we did ourselves to get a handle on it," says Consolidated Waterworks Director Michael Sobert.

Consolidated Waterworks is the company that provides water to Terrebonne Parish. When the company hired an independent firm to conduct testing, an amoeba was found at the end of the distribution line along Highway 665 in Pointe-Aux-Chenes.

"To kill bacteria, nothing works better than good ole chlorine, and so the state has allowed us this tool in our toolbox to change disinfectants to really get the system in tip-top shape," says Sobert.

Terrebonne Parish has dealt with amoebas in the past. This is the third time since last year that they've been detected.

"After the first and second time, you keep learning and keep learning. We learned that when the water temperature gets about 75 degrees, the amoebas get active and they start moving around," says Sobert.

Amoebas can cause a brain infection that leads to the destruction of brain tissue and can ultimately cause death. Health officials says you cannot be infected by drinking water, but it is dangerous if the water gets up your nose.

"We would encourage people not to go slip-n-slide without something on their nose to keep it closed. If you have a swimming pool, make sure your chlorine is up to par," says Sobert.

"I'm taking a bath instead of a shower. That will be one thing and I will continue drinking bottled water," says Martin.

Sobert says he has notified state officials about their findings. Meanwhile, he says the more than 550 residents of Pointe-Aux-Chenes should continue to take precautions.

Copyright 2018 WVUE. All rights reserved.