Thanh Truong

CHALMETTE, La. -- The process of cleansing and clearing St. Bernard Parish's water of a potentially deadly, brain-eating amoeba is intensifying.

St. Bernard Parish President David Peralta says the state's Department of Health and Hospitals is requiring even higher levels of chlorine be put in the parish water supply.

'Just yesterday I found out they wanted us to go from .5 ppm to 1.0 ppm. That's going to mean we're going to have to introduce more chlorine in the water. I just want people to understand and expect what's going on,' said Peralta.

It means the taste and smell of parish tap water will have a more noticeable trace of chlorine.

Peralta said parish residents living closer to the Mississippi river will notice the stronger taste and odor.

That's on top of the increased chlorine levels that have been put in place since the amoeba killed a 4-year-old boy from Mississippi in July. The boy became infected with the amoeba after visiting a home in the parish.

Peralta said the parish will continue to add the chlorine as long as necessary.

For Alvin Ard, a resident of Arabi, tap water is off limits.

'I brush my teeth with bottled water,' Ard said. 'I'm scared to even wash my dishes with it.'

Ard lives near the 300 block of Angela Street. It's one of four sites in St. Bernard that tested positive for the amoeba.

Neighbors Crytal wells and Leah Yannez live on Angela Street. They say living so close to a site that tested positive for the amoeba, they should have been notified immediately when it was discovered.

'I never got anything, not a phone call and I know they have the means to do so,' said Wells.

'I really should have been given a notice. I have kids,' Yannez said.

Peralta admits he wasn't informed of the positive test results until weeks after the actual testing was conducted by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals.

His focus now is trying to get the message out: the water is safe to drink.

For more information about the amoeba, follow the links below: State of Louisiana's Response to Confirmation of Rare Ameba in St. Bernard Parish

St. Bernard Parish government statement

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