Questions or Comments: media@tceq.texas.gov
You are here:

Boil Water Notice lifted for Lake Jackson

Oct. 6, 2020 – Water distribution system undergoing disinfection and flushing process
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ContactTiffany Young
Phone512-239-5000
After Hrs512-239-5000

In coordination with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, the City of Lake Jackson is lifting its Boil Water Notice.

The city lifted the Boil Water Notice today after TCEQ documented disinfectant residuals were above the state’s required disinfection standards throughout the entire system. Additionally, microbiological samples were collected confirming the city’s drinking water was negative for harmful bacteria.

The city’s tap water is safe to drink. Residents will no longer need to boil the city’s water prior to using it for drinking and cooking, but are urged to continue to avoid getting water far up into their noses to reduce the risk of Naegleria fowleri infection.

The N. fowleri ameba does not cause an infection if it is in water that a person drinks, because the ameba is killed by normal levels of stomach acid. However, individuals can become infected with N. fowleri when water contaminated with the ameba enters the body through the nose. Residents should continue precautionsExit the TCEQ recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) until concerns with the ameba have been resolved.  Residents will be notified by the City of Lake Jackson when that occurs.

Public water systems in Texas are required to maintain a minimum amount of residual disinfectant throughout their drinking water systems to minimize the presence of harmful microorganisms. A properly cleaned and maintained system should prevent organisms like coliform bacteria and N. fowleri from surviving.

TCEQ continues to work with the City of Lake Jackson, the Texas Department of State Health Services, CDC, and the Environmental Protection Agency after drinking water testing by DSHS confirmed the presence of N. fowleri, an ameba that occurs naturally in freshwater, in the city’s public water supply on Sept. 25, 2020. TCEQ will provide oversight and additional verification sampling as appropriate in the weeks ahead as the city continues the free chlorine disinfection Adobe Acrobat PDF Document process that started on Sept. 26. The free chlorine disinfection process, which involves extensive flushing of the water distribution system to quickly move the chlorine throughout the entire system and storage tanks, will continue for at least 60 more days or as long as necessary to fully remedy the detection of the ameba in the water.

TCEQ and the city will continue daily to closely monitor the city’s water for compliance with state and federal drinking water standards to ensure the water is safe to drink.

Precautions recommended by the CDC to avoid getting water into the nose include the following:

  • DO NOT allow water to go up your nose or sniff water into your nose when bathing, showering, washing your face, or swimming in small, hard plastic/blow-up pools.
  • DO NOT jump into or put your head under bathing water (bathtubs; small, hard plastic/blow-up pools). Instead, walk or lower yourself in.
  • DO NOT allow children to play unsupervised with hoses or sprinklers, as they may accidentally squirt water up their nose. Avoid slip-n-slides or other activities where it is difficult to prevent water going up the nose.
  • DO run bath and shower taps and hoses for five 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 your swimming pool 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 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.

For further updates, including sampling data and frequently asked questions, visit TCEQ’s incident response webpage, and our Facebook and TwitterExit the TCEQ accounts.