It could take 3 months to clear Lake Jackson’s drinking water system of brain-eating amoeba, officials say

LAKE JACKSON, Texas – The road to drinkable water won’t be a short one in Lake Jackson after a brain-eating amoeba was found in the water system.

The discovery initially led officials to issue a do-not-use order for the Brazosport Water Authority. That was later changed to a boil-water notice for the city of Lake Jackson. Officials said they believe BWA’s distribution system is clean and that the issue is limited to Lake Jackson, where 11 of 54 sites tested there showed low levels of disinfectant.

Josiah McIntye, 6, was infected by the amoeba and died in early September, according to his mother.

At a briefing Tuesday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott was joined by state and local officials who all expressed their sorrow over Josiah’s death. Abbott said state and federal agencies are working with local officials around the clock to get to the bottom of what happened.

“We want to be clear, that we as leaders will be taking steps every single day to make sure that we are using every tool possible to quickly fix whatever is wrong," said Gov. Abbott.

Toby Baker, the head of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, committed to a transparent process of figuring out how Josiah became infected with the parasite and what happened to allow the amoeba to live in the water.

“This amoeba is very, very rare,” Baker said. “I don’t believe we’ve ever had, to my knowledge, the amoeba show up in a public drinking water system in the state of Texas.”

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