Lake Jackson residents in need of safe water after 6-year-old child dies from brain-eating amoeba in water supply

LAKE JACKSON, Texas – The city of Lake Jackson offered free cases of water Saturday afternoon after issuing a ‘Do Not Use’ water advisory that was later downgraded to a ‘Water Boil’ notice. The latest order will be in place until the water system is flushed and disinfected, officials said.

Several hundred people showed up at Brazoport College to pick up bottled water. Residents said it was becoming harder and harder to find water, forcing many to rush to the grocery stores.

One resident Barbara Childers was headed home with a cart full of water. She said she was scared.

"Along with the COVID-19 and now not being able to shower and wash your hands, its a little nerve wrecking,” she said.

The “Do Not Use” water advisory came after 6-year-old Josiah McIntye contracted a rare and fatal brain eating amoeba. His family and friends came together earlier Saturday to celebrate his young life. His mother, Maria Castillo, said the child died on Sept. 8.

“I’m angry, upset, sad and heartbroken,” she said.

Describing her son, Castillo said: “He liked to be outside. He liked to play baseball."

Brazoria County Health officials said the amoeba is a parasite that is generally acquired through water.

Local and state health officials are testing the water supply in the area. They have collected 11 water samples, and three of those came back from amoeba. Those samples came from the city’s splash pad storage tank, a downtown fire hydrant and the 6-year-old’s home.

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. The advisory was lifted Saturday morning for all areas excluding Lake Jackson, which is currently under a ‘Boil Water’ notice.

Officials will be at Brazoport College daily between 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. distributing one case of water per day per family.

If you are physically unable to drive to the pick up, please call (979) 415-2788 to schedule alternative accommodations.

These services are limited to absolute necessity for those in Lake Jackson city limits.

Clarification: You can receive one case per car per day, every day until our water source has been cleared for normal...

Posted by City of Lake Jackson - Government on Saturday, September 26, 2020