The U.S. National Whitewater Center released the following statement after an Ohio teenager died from an Amebic infection after visiting the Whitewater Center. Read more details on the story HERE.
On June 21st, 2016, the U.S. National Whitewater Center was contacted by the Mecklenburg County Health Department and informed that an individual residing in Ohio had deceased from meningitis. The Center for Disease Control contacted the Health Department because the deceased claimed to have visited the USNWC.
The meningitis was preliminarily diagnosed as Naegleria which results from a water born amoeba. The Health Department met with representatives from the USNWC on the afternoon of June 21st to gather information related to the operations of the whitewater system and water treatment. The following information was provided to the Health Department officials.
The US National Whitewater Center sources its water from the Charlotte Mecklenburg Utilities Department and 2 wells located on the premises. The water contained in the whitewater channels is in a closed loop system comprised entirely of concrete. The water is disinfected with ultraviolet radiation and filtered with a disc filtration system. The UV system is a constant application and treats 12 million gallons of water every 24 hours which is the total volume of the system. In addition to the UV treatment, the Center periodically augments that treatment through the injection of chlorine into the system.
The levels of UV radiation disinfection utilized every day, continuously, at the Center are sufficient to “inactivate” the water born amoeba in question to an effective level of 99.99%. After contact from the County Health Department, the USNWC released additional chlorine into the system in an abundance of caution. The levels of chlorine used in this additional chlorine based method equal the effectiveness levels of the UV method and are equal to 3 times the levels used in swimming pools..
The US National Whitewater Center conducts water quality tests every week. Based on these tests and all available information, at all times, the USNWC has been in compliance with all required water quality standards and meets the requirements of all regulatory standards and authorities. Furthermore, the USNWC has requested additional testing specific to this issue in an abundance of caution. The USNWC is working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and the Mecklenburg County Health Department to investigate the matter further.