Thanh Truong / Eyewitness News
ARABI, La. - Friday morning students trickled in to Arabi Elementary and found no water flowing from the fountains.
The move coming a day after St. Bernard Parish said parts of the system tested positive for an amoeba that is blamed in the death of a young child who was playing on a Slip and Slide at a home in Violet a few weeks ago.
"The plumbers came in, and all the drinking fountains are turned off," said Principal Carla Carollo.
In its place, the classrooms were stocked with bottled water and big jugs in the halls. It's part of the parish's plan in wake of the amoeba-related death.
"We don't want a little one to go to the water fountain and get water in their face, possibly up their nose," said Carollo.
To be clear, health officials say it is safe to drink tap water, but despite that assurance you won't find any working water fountains in St. Bernard's middle or elementary schools at this point.
"I'm a parent, I'm a little nervous and leery about it, but my hopes are that parish and the CDC that they really buckle down and do what they need to do to get this under control," said Lori Lewis.
The parish is adding disinfectant to the water in an effort to quell the issue, but at least one resident said she can taste the difference.
"It's horrible," said Semaj Lumar, of Chalmette. "It tastes horrible. It tastes like chlorine."
It's something the students won't taste in school as there is now water on their desk tops.
ST. BERNARD PARISH HAS NOW SET UP A RECORDED MESSAGE TO PROVIDE RESIDENTS WITH MORE INFORMATION ON THE PARISH'S PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES. THAT NUMBER IS 504-278-4251 .