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Lake Jackson Do Not Use Water Advisory lifted, but Boil Water Notice put in place

Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020 - TCEQ working with city to flush and disinfect entire system
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ContactBrian McGovern
Phone512-239-5000
After Hrs512-239-5000

The city of Lake Jackson is lifting its Do Not Use advisory. However, a boil water notice is in effect along with additional precautionary measures, as authorities use a stepped approach which will transition the status of the system back to normal.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality continues to work with the city, the Texas Department of State Health Services, the Centers for Disease Control, and the Environmental Protection Agency to resolve the ongoing water issue after Naegleria fowleri (N. fowleri) was found in the city’s water system.

N. fowleri occurs naturally in freshwater, but if it gets far up into the nose, the ameba can cause a rare but fatal infection.

TCEQ and city officials are actively 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.

The health and safety of the public is TCEQ’s priority. It is not yet known how long it will take to adequately flush the system and test the water to ensure it is completely safe to use.

As the incident is resolved, further updates will be posted on the incident webpage, sent to local media outlets, and posted on TCEQ’s Facebook and Twitter.