11 Months After Amoeba Bossier City Addresses Water Quality Issues

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11 Months After 'Brain Eating Amoeba' Bossier City Still Addressing Water Supply Issues

Wednesday, the Bossier City Council took a step toward implementing what the experts have been recommending from Day One of the Bossier City water crisis.

Eleven months ago — almost to the day — environmental activist Erin Brockovich, who rose to national fame after suing the Pacific Gas and Electric Company of California in 1993 for alleged drinking water contamination in Hinkley, California, posted this on her Facebook page regarding the Bossier City water supply:

“First the Brain Eating Amoeba… and now the burn… why don’t you try the TRUTH?” Brockovich wrote. “You are going to be burned out and flushed… because the City won’t get off chloramine and clean the dirt out of your drinking water like they are supposed to.”

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Wednesday, the Bossier City Council introduced an ordinance “appropriating $280,000 from the 2014 Utility Bond to perform a Pilot Study to determine if Nanofiltration can eliminate enough organics from Bossier City Water to use free chlorine in lieu of chloramines.”

Nearly one year following a chlorine burn to rid the Bossier City water supply of brain-eating amoeba, city officials are still trying to determine the best way to “clean the dirt out of your drinking water,” as Brockovich stated.

Brockovich rep talks about Bossier City water
Robert W. Bowcock meets with the media prior to a town hall meeting, Nov. 2018.

In November of last year, Robert W. Bowcock, who partners with Brockovich on environment issues, said Bossier City has a state-of-the-art water system that’s being underutilized.

“My recommendation is, that you use your surface water treatment plant appropriately. The one you built in 2014, to its fullest and maximum use and that you go back to free chlorine all the time,” Bowcock said. “There’s no reason to keep going from chloramine to free chlorine —  chloramine to free chlorine. You have one of the best water treatment plants in the United States of America. It has… technologies that should provide you the best water quality in the state of Louisiana, if not most of the United States. I don’t know why they’re not using it the proper way.”

Chloramine is chlorine mixed with ammonia, and has been the primary disinfectant used by Bossier City. Problem is, for years, water treatment experts have said that ammonia by-products can leave behind nitrogen, which can be a nutrient for pathogens or other biological agents. 

Now, 11 months later, the City may be finally looking at ways to reduce its dependency on chloramine disinfectant.

BossierNow contacted Bowcock for his reaction.

“Wow. So they confirm what I have been saying,” Bowcock said via email. “The price is very high, but at least they are acknowledging the need.”

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