If you live in Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana, you might want to consider buying some bottled water. For the third time in three years, the tap water has been laced with a terrible substance.
When you drink tap water these days, you take your life in your hands. You’d think that would be the opposite. This is the United States, after all. The one thing we should be able to count on is clean drinking water.
But the people responsible for maintaining our supply of water work for the government. So, yeah, you might want to invest in a Brita filter.
Usually, when serious weather hits a region, we are issued health warnings. Due to damage from flooding and storms — coupled with power losses — we have to be careful with what we drink. Water can easily be contaminated by all sorts of bacteria and disease. Worse still, sewage pipes can burst (at any time) and infiltrate otherwise clean water.
But that’s not something you expect to happen, outside the most extreme circumstances. On any given day, citizens should be safe in the knowledge that their drinking water is drinkable. Not for the people of Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana. For the third time in three years, they have been told to stay away from the tap.
They’ve found Naegleria fowleri in the water, which is a brain-eating amoeba. No, this isn’t a horror movie, it’s real life.
A potentially deadly brain-eating amoeba has been detected in a Louisiana neighborhood’s drinking water — the third time the terrifying discovery has been made in the same parish since 2015, reports said.
Naegleria fowleri, which causes fatal brain swelling and tissue destruction, was found over the weekend in Terrebonne Parish, deep in the Louisiana bayou about an hour south of New Orleans, WWL-TV reported.
All freshwater sources in the parish have been affected, including drinking water, the water in the bayous and pools, plus water used for showers and baths.
The water is “perfectly safe to drink,” claimed Michael Sobert from Consolidated Waterworks, “it’s just not safe to get up your nose.” [Source: New York Post]
You’ll forgive me, Michael, for not buying your assurances. “Oh, the water is fine in your stomach, but for the LOVE OF GOD, don’t snort it!”
That doesn’t instill a lot of confidence, does it? If the water is so deadly to your brain (via the nose), I’m not going to go near it. There is always a chance that some of it can reach the brain as you drink it. Is it really a chance anyone’s willing to take?
The government has switched to an alternate method of treating the water — one that will kill amoeba, but it’s a temporary fix. Questions still remain: where did the amoeba come from, why is it returning, what are they doing to do to fix this permanently?
So far, they know it thrives in warm weather. In the South, it’s always hot. Plus, New Orleans is a marshland. But considering this is a new occurrence, something must have changed. Americans have been living in that region for hundreds of years. Why is this a problem now?
Officials have switched from using chloramine to free chlorine, which is more effective at killing off the amoebas, but it’s a temporary fix for a problem exacerbated by the area’s scorching late spring temperatures, which allow the simple-celled organism to flourish. The parish is looking for a permanent solution and is researching the issue to have a better plan in place for next year…
In the meantime, the Louisiana Department of Health advises residents to avoid letting water go up their nose during showers, prohibit children from being unsupervised while playing with hoses and sprinklers, and to not submerge their head in the bathtub. [Source: New York Post]
Just in time for the summer! Hey kids, get out those sprinklers. It’s time to get brain-eating parasites!
The leaders at Consolidated Waterworks don’t seem to be too worried about the potential health crisis. Michael Sobert later said, “It’s a way of life, I’m sorry to say that.” Really? Maybe someone in your position shouldn’t have such a laid-back attitude about brain-eating amoebas. Now’s a good time for the local population to consider a change in leadership.
You do know New Orleans has plenty of Democrats in power, right? Might not be a coincidence they don’t care about helping the public.