The city of Rosenberg is in the process of testing water it gets from the Brazosport Water Authority to see if it has “brain-eating amoeba” in it.
Council members will discuss the “Do Not Use” water advisory issue during Tuesday night’s council meeting. Late on Friday, Sept. 25, the Brazosport Water Authority was informed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality of potential Naegleria Fowleri Amoeba in the water supply and issued a “Do Not Use” advisory for all water in Rosenberg.
The announcement came after the brain-eating amoeba killed a 6-year-old boy in Lake Jackson, which also gets its freshwater from the Brazosport Water Authority.
According to city staff, this advisory was released to the media approximately four hours before the city was even notified. The following morning, the TCEQ rescinded the original advisory and confirmed that there was not a problem with the water that is supplied by BWA to Rosenberg.
As an extra precautionary measure, the city of Rosenberg continues to isolate the surface water plant from the city’s water supply, city staff noted.
The surface water plant’s water, which is sourced from Brazosport Water Authority, will not be used to supply the city water and the City will remain 100% on groundwater until the city receives results from an independent lab to test the water at the plant.
The amoeba, known as Naegleria fowleri, is naturally found in warm freshwater, such as lakes and rivers, and people usually become infected after swimming or diving in bodies of contaminated freshwater, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Infections, which are rare, happen when contaminated water goes up the nose.
People cannot become infected from swallowing contaminated water, the CDC says.
Health officials tested 11 samples from Lake Jackson’s water supply, and found that three were “preliminary positive,” including samples from a city fire hydrant, the splash pad storage tank and the boy’s home water hose faucet, one newspaper reported.
On Sunday, Sept. 27, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a disaster declaration for Brazoria County, where Lake Jackson is located, due to the presence of Naegleria fowleri in the water supply.
According to Rosenberg city staff, the groundwater being used for the entire city is safe for human consumption and meets all requirements set forth by the TCEQ.
In other business, when Rosenberg residents asked the city council to install speed humps on Avenue R, one council member wanted to change the city’s policy before a decision was made.
Three weeks later, those living on Avenue R will finally get their answer. At Tuesday’s Rosenberg City Council meeting, council members will consider taking action on installing speed humps on Avenue R between Avenue P and Tobola Street.
The meeting is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m.
According to city policy, at least 65 percent of the property owners/residents must be in support of the change in order to proceed with the installation.
This policy was changed two weeks ago, when council member Kevin Raines urged his colleagues to reconsider the policy.
“(The policy) was drafted in 2015,” he told council. “We need to look back. I think 75% is pretty extreme. Some of the houses were vacant and it skews the numbers.”
Council came to a consensus to lower the policy to 65%. There are 32 residential homes and multi-family residential units located along Avenue R. Twenty-two of the homeowners stated they are in support of the speed hump installation, while 10 did not respond, or provide a definitive answer, city staff added.
This equates to approximately 69% of the residents being in support. If approved, the speed humps will cost the city $3,200.