HOUSTON – The city of Lake Jackson is moving to enforce a ‘Boil water’ notice, according to a press release from Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
The boil notice lifts the ‘Do not use’ water advisory, which was in response to an ongoing water issue after a brain eating amoeba was found in the city’s water system. Officials said these efforts will help transition the status of the system back to normal.
TCEQ said they found Naegleria fowleri, which occurs naturally in freshwater. But if it gets far up into the nose, the ameba can cause a rare but fatal infection.
State and local officials said they are working on a plan to flush and disinfect the water system. Until the flushing and disinfecting process is complete, the city remains under the boil notice.
During this period of disinfection and flushing, boiling the tap water makes it safe for drinking and cooking.
However, for all other uses, including bathing and showering, TCEQ and DSHS strongly urge residents to take the following precautions recommended by the CDC:
- Do not allow water to go up your nose or sniff water into your nose when bathing, showering, washing your face, or swimming.
- Do not jump into or put your head under bathing water.
- Do not allow children to play with hoses, sprinklers, or any toy or device that may accidentally squirt water up the nose.
- Do run bath and shower taps and hoses for 5 minutes before use to flush out the pipes.
- Do keep small, hard plastic/blow-up pools clean by emptying, scrubbing, and allowing them to dry after each use.
- Do use only boiled and cooled, distilled, or sterile water for making sinus rinse solutions for neti pots or performing ritual ablutions.
- Do keep swimming pools adequately disinfected before and during use. Adequate disinfection means:
- Pools: free chlorine at 1-3 parts per million (ppm) and pH 7.2-7.8; and
- Hot tubs/spas: free chlorine 2-4 parts per million (ppm) or free bromine 4-6 ppm and pH 7.2-7.8.
- Do place the hose directly into the skimmer box and ensure that the filter is running.
- Do not top off by placing the hose in the body of the pool.
On Friday night, officials issued a ‘Do Not Use’ water advisory for nine Houston-area cities: Lake Jackson, Freeport, Angleton, Brazoria, Richwood, Oyster Creek, Clute, Rosenberg, Dow Chemical, TDCJ Clemens and TDCJ Wayne Scott.