We spend most of our day talking to people about their water quality. We’ve been doing this for 16 years, so last night’s TV report on brain eating amoeba in your tap water comes as no surprise to us. As you can see from the image, it’s also well known and well researched. So let’s get specific and not waste time. Naegleria fowleri likes warm water. If you drink water containing it, there is no problem. If, however, you breath it in, or get it up your nose, then it can go to the brain. Yes, it is difficult to tell kids that they shouldn’t play with the hose on a hot day.. or if you are in a rural area, that they don’t take a refreshing dip in your dam. And yes, there is a chance that this could cause aegleria fowleri to get up your kid’s nose and into his/her brain. 300 deaths worldwide isn’t massive, but..
“It causes catastrophic meningitis encephalitis, and by the time these kids are diagnosed the treatments are usually ineffective,” says public health physician Dr Steven Donohue. “We think that probably 98 per cent of cases die even in the best of hands, even in the most modern intensive care units.”
So here’s what you can do now.
- Keep kids and adults out of untreated water and away from hoses. Remember, the water has to go up the nose.
- Add chlorine to your water. Unfortunately, chlorine is also a carcinogen, so you’ll need a water filter to remove the chlorine after it does its job of killing the bug.
- Add a UV unit to your home supply. You may even consider a whole home water filter system incorporating UV. UV kills bacteria of all sorts as the water passes an ultraviolet light. Remember, you need only treat the water that may get up your nose, which is usually your shower or bath.
- If you cannot add chlorine to your water supply ( it IS difficult to monitor and dose correctly) install a water filter with technology that can kill amoeba. Our UltraStream uses a patented technology called KDF 85. This water treatment reduces bacteria and other microorganisms by disrupting electron transport, causing cellular damage. KDF process media also kill bacteria by direct electrochemical contact and by the flash formation of hydroxyl radicals and hydrogen peroxide, both of which interfere with a microorganism’s ability to function. It’s expensive but good.
- Install a Sterasyl prefilter to your UltraStream. We’re on tank water at home and we use this to specifically block bacteria. Its specs are very impressive, and it lasts for hundreds of ‘clean and replaces’. Tested with live Cryptosporidium to a removal of 100%, tested with live bacteria to a removal of >99.99%.
- Install a shower filter with KDF. It’s not as good as the UltraStream because the water flows through much faster, but it’s far better than no filter.
- Keep away from showers that mist. Water mist surrounds the bather, and can carry Naegleria fowleri up the nose.If you’d like to discuss your own water supply situation, give us a call on 1300 255 292 or email us now.