Water utilities may see an increase in questions from media and consumers about Naegleria fowleri (nā-ˈglir-ē-ah fau̇(-ə)l er-ē) in the coming days, following the discovery of the commonly called 'brain-eating amoeba' in potable water samples from a Texas water system. The Texas Department of Environmental Quality, water supplier and affected community have responded through a series of actions, beginning late last Friday with a do-not-use order for eight communities and subsequent resolving to an active free chlorine treatment and flushing program for one community where preliminary positive samples were observed. AWWA recommends the below talking points to assist you in answering media inquiries or calls from customers. Primary Talking Points (to be adapted as suited to your utility’s practices) We understand that some customers may be concerned about the news coming out of Texas, where Naegleria fowleri was found in a treated water supply. [Name of your utility]’s first concern is the health and safety of our customers. We are paying close attention to the events in Texas and will incorporate any lessons learned into our treatment and disinfection practices. [Name of your utility] already has protective measures in place to prevent contamination from Naegleria fowleri in our distribution system. [Explain your disinfection practices, with a focus on residual disinfection.] In addition, we regularly flush out portions of our water system, to keep water from sitting stagnant for long periods of time in the system. [Explain your flushing program.] This prevents the conditions necessary for Naegleria fowleri and other potential contaminants to survive in finished water. Supplemental Talking Points If you are concerned about Naegleria fowleri , there are additional steps you can take to protect yourself and your family. First, it’s important to remember you cannot get infected from drinking water contaminated with Naegleria fowleri . Naegleria fowleri infects people when water containing the amoeba enters the body through the nose. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control advises that if you are making a solution for irrigating, flushing, or rinsing your sinuses (for example, by using a neti pot, sinus rinse bottle or other irrigation device), use water that has been: previously boiled for 1 minute (at elevations above 6,500 feet, boil for 3 minutes) and left to cool or filtered, using a filter with an absolute pore size of 1 micron or smaller or purchased with a label specifying that it contains distilled or sterile water Rinse the irrigation device after each use with water that has been previously boiled, filtered, distilled, or sterilized, then wipe the inside dry or leave the device open to air dry completely. To protect yourself from Naegleria fowleri -contaminated water, CDC further recommends : DO NOT allow water to go up your nose or sniff water into your nose when bathing, showering, washing your face, or swimming in small hard plastic/blow-up pools. DO NOT jump into or put your head under bathing water (bathtubs, small hard plastic/blow-up pools) – walk or lower yourself in. DO NOT allow children to play unsupervised with hoses or sprinklers, as they may accidentally squirt water up their nose. Avoid slip-n-slides or other activities where it is difficult to prevent water going up the nose. DO run bath and shower taps and hoses for 5 minutes before use to flush out the pipes. This is most important the first time you use the tap after the water utility raises the disinfectant level. DO keep small hard plastic/blow-up pools clean by emptying, scrubbing, and allowing them to dry after each use. DO use only boiled and cooled, distilled, or sterile water for making sinus rinse solutions for neti pots or performing ritual ablutions. DO keep your swimming pool adequately disinfected before and during use. Adequate disinfection means: Pools: free chlorine at 1–3 parts per million (ppm) and pH 7.2–7.8 Hot tubs/spas: free chlorine 2–4 parts per million (ppm) or free bromine 4–6 ppm and pH 7.2–7.8 If you need to top off the water in your swimming pool with tap water, DO place the hose directly into the skimmer box and ensure that the filter is running. DO NOT top off by placing the hose in the body of the pool. Questions can be directed to Greg Kail , AWWA’s director of communications.