It doesn’t happen often. But most summers, several Americans, usually healthy young people, suffer sudden, tragic deaths from a brain-eating amoeba. Naegleria fowleri causes the disease primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM), a brain infection that leads to the destruction of brain tissue.
The amoeba is commonly found in warm freshwater (such as lakes, rivers, and hot springs) and soil. Naegleria fowleri usually infects people when contaminated water enters the body through the nose. Once entering the nose, it travels to the brain where it is usually fatal. Infection typically occurs when people go swimming or diving in warm freshwater places.
Naegleria fowleri is not adversely affected by the presence of oxygen. This organism thrives in the organic sediment (muck) on the bottom of a water body. It eats other organisms like bacteria found in the sediment. When these sediments are disturbed by swimming, boating, water skiing etc., Naegleria fowleri become free floating where they can easily get into a person’s nose.
For over 45 years, CLEAN-FLO inversion oxygenation systems along with bioaugmentation have been reducing organic sediments in thousands of water bodies. When the organic sediments are biodegraded, a preferred habitat is eliminated. So, one way to reduce the risk of Naegleria fowleri is to implement a CLEAN-FLO program to reduce the organic sediments. The water quality will also improve in so many ways.
Dredging can also reduce sediments. However it is expensive and not complete. Many times the loose organic sediment is suspended in the water column during dredging, only to settle out again after dredging is complete. Dredging will also not prevent muck from returning in the future.
The CLEAN-FLO process oxygenates the pore water in the sediments and rids the bottom of toxic gases in water bodies loaded with organic sediment. Then beneficial microbes can live and feed on the muck. Organic sediment begins to disappear. Learn more about our laminar flow inversion oxygenation and bioaugmentation.
Our fresh water sources are under attack in so many different ways. Reported occurrences of Naegleria fowleri are also on the rise as water quality worsens. Maybe it is time to reduce the risk.