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DeSoto Parish Waterworks continues chlorine burn to kill brain-eating amoeba

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DESOTO PARISH, La. -

The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals says chlorine levels are still not at the level needed to make sure the brain-eating amoeba in Desoto Parish Waterworks District One is gone.

They'll test again on Wednesday.

But John Neilson, Director Waterworks District One, says it's not for lack of effort.

He says four teams have been working seven days a week, 24 hours a day, racking up 437 hours of overtime to sample and flush the water.

Neilson says, of the 101 samples taken, 96 achieved the chlorine levels required by the state.

He says that process includes completely burning off the chlorine-ammonia combination so that only pure chlorine, which kills the amoeba, is left in the water.

So far, he says 3 million gallons of water in the parish have been flushed.

He also says all sites tested have, at some point, met the required chlorine level of 1.0 mg/liter, but because levels are constantly fluctuating, some of those sites were below 1.0 mg/liter during state testing.

Crews are in the process of conducting a 60-day process called a "chlorine burn", hoping to kill the potentially deadly amoeba that was found in the Ranchland Acres area and a part of Linwood Avenue in Stonewall earlier this month.

State officials say, at this point, there are no known cases of the illness related to the discovery.

That same amoeba is what killed Stonewall resident Diane Pickett two years ago.

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