Sep 28, 2020

Tap Water Warning Contamination Remains in Texas City

Eight Texas cities were alerted to a brain-eating amoeba found in the water supply

texas water supply

Texas officials lifted a warning on Sep. 26 for all communities, except the Lake Jackson community, to stop using tap water.

The tap water may have been tainted with a deadly brain-eating microbe, according to CBS DFW.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality warned the Brazosport Water Authority on Sep. 25 of the potential contamination of its water supply by naegleria fowleri.

Eight communities were initially warned not to use tap water for any reason except to flush toilets. 

"The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality at the direction of the Governor's Office is working with Brazosport Water Authority to resolve the issue as quickly as possible," said the advisory. 

Lake Jackson, a city of more than 27,000 residents, is the site of the authority’s water treatment plant. The advisory will remain in place until the authority’s water system has been thoroughly flushed and tests on water samples show that the system’s water is safe to use, reported CBS DFW.

It is unclear how long it would be before the tap water was again safe. The authority’s water source is the Brazos River.

According to the CDC, naegleria fowleri is a free-living microscopic amoeba, or single-celled living organism commonly found in warm freshwater and soil. This organism usually infects people when contaminated water enters the body through the nose, where it travels to the brain and can cause a rare and debilitating disease known as primary amebic meningoencephalitis.

While naegleria fowleri infections are rare, most cases are fatal. From 2009 to 2018, only 34 infections were reported in the U.S. Of the reported cases, 30 people were infected by recreational water.

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