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Bossier to flush water system as precaution after brain eating amoeba scare


As a way to ensure that there are no issues in the Bossier City water system with Naegleria fowleri, also known as brain-eating amoeba, Bossier City’s Utilities Department will be conducting a free chlorine flush of its water distribution system.

While the Bossier City water system has not experienced any instances of the parasite, the free chlorine flush is an added precautionary step.

The flush was originally scheduled for the first quarter of 2019 as part of routine maintenance. The flush will begin earlier than scheduled, on Monday, October 15, 2018. The process is expected to last for about 60 days.

Currently, Bossier City uses chloramines for disinfection of the drinking water. Chloramines are created by combining chlorine and ammonia. During a free chlorine flush, the disinfection process is changed from chloramines to free chlorine. Free chlorine is a stronger and faster-acting disinfectant. Bossier City will be using this disinfection method. Residents may notice open fire hydrants throughout the city to allow flushing of the system to help remove sediment from the pipes and distribute the change in disinfectant. Customers may also see overflowing water storage towers to further aid in the flushing process.

How will the free chlorine flush affect the water in my home or business?

During this temporary change there may be some discoloration or cloudiness in the water and customers may experience a chlorine odor or taste. Running the water through the tap until it clears will lessen any unpleasant odor or taste. Minor pressure fluctuations and small air pockets may also occur in some lines.

The water is safe to drink throughout this process. Any odor or color issues are a nuisance only and will subside as the flushing process is completed. Customers who use tap water for kidney dialysis at home should consult their doctor to advise them if any changes are necessary in their residual disinfectant neutralization procedures. Discoloration in laundry is also possible during this time. Cleaning additives are available at local stores to help prevent or remove any discoloration that may occur. Customers utilizing the water for aquariums should monitor both free and combined chlorine residuals.

During normal business hours, residents may call (318) 741-8466 with any questions concerning the free chlorine flush. After regular business hours, please contact (318) 741-8371.

The Bossier City Utilities Department appreciates the patience and understanding of its residents as it works to further improve the quality of the water for all customers.

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Sean Green is managing editor of the Bossier Press-Tribune.


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