Tests Confirm Presence of Naegleria fowleri at BSR Cable Park in Waco
Tests conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in collaboration with the Waco-McLennan County Public Health District (WMCPHD), and the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) have confirmed the presence of a deadly amoeba at Waco's BSR Cable Park, the City of Waco announced Friday.
Test results published on the City's website indicate that there was evidence of Naegleria fowleri at the Cable Park, but that the micro-organism was not detected in samples from the Surf Resort, Lazy River, or the Royal Flush. However, the report indicates favorable conditions for the growth of the amoeba in those areas.
"The BSR water venues known as the Surf Resort, Lazy River, and the Royal Flush are currently closed and will not re-open without consultation with the WMCPHD and not before all health and safety issues have been addressed and mitigated appropriately", the WMCPHD announcement reads. "The Cable Park may remain open to the general public because the risk of exposure to N. fowleri is considered the same as any other natural bodies of freshwater and is not amenable to treatment. WMCPHD is working with the owner who is consulting with water treatment experts to evaluate the situation and develop a comprehensive water quality management plan to include current regulatory requirements."
The tests were ordered after 29-year-old New Jersey surfer Fabrizio Stabile visited the BSR Surf Resort, after which he passed away as a result of a Naegleria fowleri infection.
The owner of the park, Stuart Parsons, expressed his condolences for Stabile's family and friends in a Facebook announcement Friday morning, and wrote that he has hired a company to install a state-of-the-art filtration system.
"Although comprehensive test results have now confirmed that the water at BSR Surf Resort meets every standard for safety, today I am announcing that we are going the extra mile and hiring a North Carolina firm to install a state-of-the-art filtration system to make our water in the surf, on lazy river, and at the Royal Flush slide is as clear and clean as humanly possible," the statement reads. "It will take us to February to complete the installation of this new filtration system working very closely with local, state and CDC officials."
Back in June, Surfer.com reported that the United States Pro Surfing Olympic Team would train at the BSR Surf Resort ahead of the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo. So far, we've not seen any indication that those plans have changed.