The city of Shreveport is taking steps to guard the city's water supply from a brain-eating amoeba.
Starting Monday, January 6, the city will start utilizing free chlorine, or a free chlorine burn out, in its water system. The city will use free chlorine, instead of chloramines, which is chlorine combined with ammonia, as the disinfectant at the water treatment plant and storage tanks.
The free chlorine will be used for up to 45 days to clean out the system.
This new disinfection method is in response to the emergency order issued by the Department of Health and Hospitals as a way to ensure there are no issues with Naegleria fowleri, or brain-eating amoeba. While no issues with the parasite have been reported in the Shreveport water system, the free chlorine burn is being implemented as an extra precautionary step.
During the free chlorine burn, there will be times of lower water pressure, possible odor and taste or small rust particles found in the water. The city will try to flush out the particles, color and odor from the mains with directional flushing but you could see some in your lines.
Even if you do have discoloration or a slight odor in your water during the testing, the water is still safe to drink. The odor is caused by the free chlorine disinfectant cleansing the system.
If you have any concerns, you are urged to contact the Department of Water and Sewerage at (318) 673-7660.
Copyright 2014 KSLA. All rights reserved.