Q. Can Naegleria Fowleri grow within a home’s plumbing after a whole house filtration system is installed since the system removes the chlorine from the city water?
A. If you are not aware this organism is also known as the brain-eating-amoeba. In the past this organism has been found mainly in freshwater sources such as rivers and streams, and also in swimming pools. If you drink the Amoeba nothing is likely to happen as the low pH of the stomach (1.5 – 3.0) coupled with digestive enzymes renders the organism harmless. The problem comes when the water is allowed to pass through the nasal passages. This seems to be the main mechanism for getting the organism into the brain where fatal things soon happen.
The amoeba will absolutely grow in household pipes, tanks and hot water heaters. It is true that chlorine in the proper tap-water dose will kill the amoeba however,there is a caveat. Often there can be what is called biofilm lining the inside of pipes, tanks and fixtures. Biofilm is a common, slimy deposit consisting of bacteria, algae, fungi and other organisms. Unfortunately, this common slime often shields Naegleria from the chlorine. So beware, even chlorinated water is not a guarantee of safety from this horrible amoeba.