Officials say, residents of Lake Jackson, Texas, will most likely be dealing with contaminated water for multiple weeks.
The news comes just weeks after six-year-old Josiah McIntyre died from being infected with Naegleria fowleri, a rare brain-eating amoeba that has been found in the water supply of Brazoria County.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott and other state health officials spoke at a news conference on Wednesday about the ongoing situation.
Toby Baker, Executive Director of Texas Commission for Environmental Quality, said that despite his department working around the clock to “remedy the problem,” it will take time for the amoeba to be eradicated from the water supply.
“We have to get through the boil water first, which could take two to three weeks, after that we have to get chlorine levels to a state that can burn the entire system, scour the system and kill the amoebas,” Baker said, per CNN, which he added “could take up to an additional 60 days.”
Last Saturday, a Boil Water Notice was put into effect in Lake Jackson and will remain in effect until the flushing and disinfection process is complete.
Abbot shared on Tuesday how the loss of Josiah, who died on September 8, two days after being admitted to Houston’s Texas Children’s Hospital, will not be in vain.
“The most I could do with his family was to assure them that his life was not lost in vain,” the governor said, CNN reported. “This is a total tragedy for Josiah as well as his family, but we as leaders in the state of Texas must seize upon the strategy to make sure this never happens again.”
In addition, Abbott also acknowledged the water’s infections coinciding with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
“At a time when COVID exists and lives are already disrupted, the last thing these people in Lake Jackson need is this additional burden of not having access to the water they need,” he said at the press conference.
“The state of Texas is going to be using every state agency that has any connection whatsoever with regard to responding to this catastrophe to make sure that they are available 24/7 to work with local leaders.”
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.