CDC Environmental Engineer Mia Mattioli collects a water sample in an ultra filter from a water tower Dec. 2 in Lake Jackson. The samples showed the water system had been cleared of a deadly amoeba.

LAKE JACKSON — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention testing confirmed the city’s water system did not have Naegleria fowleri present, the city announced Friday afternoon.

“The determination means the aggressive high-chlorine disinfection process that residents are experiencing will end soon,” the release states.

The transition back to the regular monochloramine disinfection will begin Monday, meaning the city will soon be able to blend its water with Brazosport Water Authority water again rather than relying solely on wells.

The transition to free chlorine began when CDC testing showed the initial genetic material for Naegleria fowleri in three spots in the city: a dead-end fire hydrant, the city’s splash pad storage tank and a hose bib at the home of 6-year-old Josiah McIntyre.

Josiah died in September from primary amebic meningoencephalitis, a rare but typically fatal brain infection a person can develop if water with Naegleria fowleri present goes up their nose with enough force to travel through a bony membrane and reach their brain. He likely was exposed to the amoeba while playing at the splash pad in late August. The city said the splash pad was scheduled to be chlorinated weekly by employees, but no records of it being done were kept.

The city was required to hold free chlorine levels of at least 1.0 parts per million for 60 days to ensure the system cleared the amoeba. CDC results showed 15 samples ranged from 2.72 to 3.19 parts per million of free chlorine.

Maddy McCarty is assistant managing editor for The Facts. Contact her at 979-237-0151.

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