LAKE JACKSON — The Lake Jackson Civic Center’s splash pad storage tank created an environment where Naegleria fowleri, a rare brain-eating amoeba, could become viable, extensive testing by the CDC showed.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analyzed the genotype and confirmed it was the same type that killed 6-year-old Josiah McIntyre, according to a news release. Other samples that found the DNA for Naegleria fowleri — a hose bib at Josiah’s home and a fire hydrant — did not create an environment for the amoeba to grow, the CDC determined.
“The city now accepts these results and the responsibility they bring with them,” City Manager Modesto Mundo said at a press conference Friday afternoon. “We never want this event to happen again.”
Lake Jackson was notified of the boy’s infection of Primary Amebic Meningoencephalitis on Sept. 8, the same day he died. The city shut down its splash pad, which Josiah had played with in late August, that day.
The splash pad is closed out of respect for the family and an abundance of caution, according to the release. It will not reopen before discussions with the family and City Council, Mundo said.
City water remains safe to drink without boiling it since the boil water notice was rescinded Tuesday, the city says.
The lowest free chlorine residual level tested at 1.7 parts per million, while the threshold to rescind the boil water notice was 0.2 parts per million.