CHALMETTE, La. -- A chlorine booster system is just one of many steps St. Bernard Parish has adopted to flush out its water system after a brain-eating amoeba was discovered in test samples.
Parish officials updated the public Tuesday night on what other steps are being taken to ensure public safety.
The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals says the parish is in its eighth week of pumping chlorine into its system to kill any possible brain-eating amoebas in the water supply.
The DHH is requiring that the water systems maintain the 1 mg/L level for at least 60 days and then maintain 0.5 mg/L level afterwards.
Right now the parish confirms it's at 0.5 mg/L throughout its water system and needs to reach 2 mg/L level at its water towers.
St. Bernard Parish CAO Jerry Graves said that takes time and money.
"Which are two of the really challenging parts of DHH's administrative order. One of the things we're doing is evaluating the administrative order whether or not its feasible to maintain those levels," said Graves.
State health officials have confirmed two deaths linked to the microscopic organism in St. Bernard Parish. Back in 2011, a 28-year-old died from the amoeba and then this past August, a 4-year-old boy died visiting relatives.
Besides a chlorine burn, the parish says it is also trying to upgrade aging water lines. During Tuesday night's parish council meeting officials discussed signing up for a DHH loan to upgrade cast iron pipe lines in areas like Arabi and Chalmette.
An environmental engineer told officials that 31 waterline segments need to be replaced which will cost almost $16 million.
"All of these lines are cast iron lines that are very old and deteriorated and have given St. Bernard Parish many problems in the past," said Robert Delaune with Digital Engineering and Imaging.
Graves also said at the council meeting that a final report on the water system is expected to be submitted to the St. Bernard Parish government later this week.