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LA National Guard helps take water samples in DeSoto Parish - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

LA National Guard helps take water samples in DeSoto Parish

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DESOTO PARISH, La. -

A strange sight for some in DeSoto Parish—Humvees cruising through out different areas and men in uniform going to some homes.

Two military vehicles and four National Guardsmen were sent to help the state with collecting water samples.

Last Tuesday the brain eating amoeba was discovered at 5 of 10 different test sights through the parish. Water District 1 began a chlorine burn in order to kill it, and now the state follows up on their work with help from the National Guard.

"No state of emergency what so ever," said John Neilson, DeSoto Parish Water District 1's administrator. "The governor's office was nice enough to give us them to help DHH in the collection of samples. That's the only reason they are here."

Two teams of two guardsmen went with DHH employees to assist and learn how to take the samples

The samples look at the chlorine levels. During the burn, they need the samples to be up to 1.0 milligrams per liter.

"We are well ahead of the game," Neilson said. "I have about 70 percent of the parish covered in a 1.0 or better, which is what the state wants me to get."

Neilson thought it would take closer to two weeks to reach this level, and expects to have 100 percent of the parish at 1.0 by the time the National Guard and DHH is back next Wednesday to test again.

"With the sample results that they get out there today, people can see that we're doing exactly what we said we were going to do and are ahead of the game plan on getting it done," said Neilson.

Once the state sees the entire parish at the 1.0 level the clock will start. The water district must keep at that level for 60 days.

The National Guardsmen and other DHH workers will be out in DeSoto Parish here testing every Wednesday until that 60 day period is over to make sure that amoeba is gone.

While the level of chlorine is increased in Water District 1, residents might smell the chemical more, or their water might be a different color. If you see that, let the Water District know and they can come flush the pipes some more near you. 

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