State and federal officials find evidence of brain-eating amoeba at BSR cable park. Meanwhile, Waco pool press release declares "water tests come back clean." Bullish!
A day before Stab High last month, a New Jersey surfer, Fabrizio Stabile, was dead in hospital after visiting the Waco wave pool.
Whether he got it in the unfiltered water of the pool or not wasn’t clear. Maybe he’d stuck his head under water in the hotel jacuzzi. Maybe he’d dived into a rancid backyard pond.
Who knew etc. Until today.
Stabile “was exposed while visiting the BSR Cable Park and Surf Resort in Waco, Texas, during the summer,” a Waco-McLennan County Public Health District said.
Water samples taken by local, state and federal health officials at the beginning of the month ‘found evidence of Naegleria fowleri,’ the amoeba that causes the infection, according to the health district.
The health department concluded, “epidemiologic and environmental assessment indicate that exposure likely occurred at this facility.”
Although the amoeba itself was not found in water samples from the park, “the presence of fecal indicator organisms, high turbidity, low free chlorine levels, and other ameba that occur along with N. fowleri indicate conditions favorable for N. fowleri growth.
The tests were taken from the park’s Surf Resort, Royal Flush and Lazy River features. Those areas are to remain closed until “all health and safety issues have been addressed and mitigated appropriately,” the health department said, adding that the owner of the park is cooperating and working to develop a “comprehensive water quality management plan to include current regulatory requirements.”
The BSR Cable Park said on its website that it is installing a state-of-the-art filtration system on the three features to ensure that they are “as clear and clean as humanly possible.”
Contrast those results with the park’s press release.
It really is a bullish spin. Appropriately Trumpian.
“BSR SURF RESORT, Lazy River & Royal Flush slide WATER TESTS COME BACK CLEAN” and “BSR Determined to Go the Extra Mile, Set Highest Standards for Safety.”
First and foremost, on behalf of the entire staff at BSR Surf Resort, our hearts and prayers are with Fab Stabile’s family, friends, and the New Jersey surf community. A precious life has been lost, and we are deeply saddened for his loved ones.For the past two weeks, increased awareness of this incredibly rare disease, Naegleria fowleri, has swept the globe. What will come of all this news coverage and commentary? At BSR Surf Park, we are determined it will help save lives.
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. It will take us to February to complete the installation of this new filtration system working very closely with local, state and CDC officials.
There are only a few of these man-made surf parks in the country today, but many more will be built. Our goal is to set the highest standard for these facilities. Going forward, BSR Surf Resort will have the cleanest water anywhere in the United States.
I built this water destination resort so people of all ages could learn to surf and wakeboard — and then go home safely to their families. We take pride in our park and the safety of every guest. And to be clear, it’s not just the guests that use the park. It’s also my family, our friends, and our employees that essentially live in our water. My two year-old twins play on that beach, and — as kids do — they drink the water every time.
So you better believe my cousin, who tests and treats the water every day, is damn sure no one gets sick.
BSR wants to thank everyone that has supported us from the start, and believed in what we are trying to do. We want to make people happy — and safe — and that’s what we are going to continue to do.
We will update you on our progress through social media and our webpage, and look forward to seeing everyone soon with clear, blue, clean water.
(Editor’s note: If you want reassurance, and a little more spin, click here.)