Now we can add a brain-eating amoeba to the list of contaminants that can be in tank sediment

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Sediment being removed from the floor of a potable water storage tank by a dive crew.

Removing sediment from the floor of your water tanks and towers may also be removing the habitat that allows bacteria, protozoa and viruses from getting a foothold in your distribution system.   Now we can add a brain-eating amoeba to the list of contaminants that the sediment on the floor of your water storage tank can support.

September 16, 2013, NBC News reported: “Deadly brain amoeba infects US tap water for the first time”. The death of a 4-year-old boy near Violet, LA., was linked to the Naegleria fowleri amoeba. The child had been playing on a backyard slip-n-slide that used water from the St. Bernard Parish water system, that was later found to be contaminated with the amoeba. “Tests show it’s present throughout the water supply system in St. Bernard Parish, directly southeast of New Orleans.”

According to the CDC:  “Naegleria fowleri (commonly referred to as the “brain-eating amoeba” or “brain-eating ameba”), is a free-living microscopic ameba, (single-celled living organism). It can cause a rare and devastating infection of the brain called primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM). The ameba is commonly found in warm freshwater (e.g. lakes, rivers, and hot springs) and soil. Naegleria fowleri usually infects people when contaminated water enters the body through the nose. Once the ameba enters the nose, it travels to the brain where it causes PAM, which is usually fatal. Infection typically occurs when people go swimming or diving in warm freshwater places, like lakes and rivers. In very rare instances,Naegleria infections may also occur when contaminated water from other sources (such as inadequately chlorinated swimming pool water or heated and contaminated tap water) enters the nose. You cannot get infected from drinking water contaminated with Naegleria.”

The CDC also tested nearby DeSoto Parish Waterworks Dist. #1 because it was the near the site of an infection that happened in 2011 from non-potable water (lake or river, etc.). On October 8, 2013, The CDC confirmed the presence of the rare amoeba in five locations in DeSoto Parish Waterworks Dist. #1.

Click Here to see the map:  NUMBER OF CASE-REPORTS OF PRIMARY AMEBIC MENINGOENCEPHALITIS CAUSED BY NAEGLERIA FOWLERI

Heat is also a factor, an increase in only ten degrees can double the speed of bacteria growth. As record high temperatures become more common in summer months we see that keeping water distribution tanks free of sediment build up may be more important than ever before. Removing the sediment from your water tank may prevent a disaster before it can ever start.

 

Ron Perrin

         Ron Perrin

Ron Perrin is the owner of Ron Perrin Water Technologies in Fort Worth, Texas. Since 1997 his company has inspected over six thousand water storage tanks and towers in 14 states. Ron may be contacted through his web site at www.ronperrin.com.

Debi Wheelan Office Manager

Debi Wheelan

For a free proposal to clean and inspect your potable water storage tanks and towers please call Debi at 817-377-4899.

or e-mail  tankinspections@aol.com

 

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