Brain Eating Amoeba Forces County to Consider Regulating Whitewater Center

CHARLOTTE, NC — Mecklenburg County Commissioners are questioning whether the Mecklenburg County Health Department should regulate the U.S. National Whitewater Center.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say the Whitewater Center’s filtration system was inadequate to kill the brain eating amoeba running throughout the rapids because the chlorine could not sanitize the water with that amount of debris.

Dr. Stephen Keener with the Health Department told commissioners that the CDC wants the facility to modify rapid channels before reopening water activities.

10 years ago, the county agreed to let the whitewater center regulate itself. If commissioners want health officials to regulate the facility like swimming pools, state lawmakers would have to approve that.

Representative Bill Brawley was at the meeting listening to concerns. He wrote a bill that would allow the county to regulate the center. However, it hasn’t passed the Senate. He tells WCCB Charlotte doctors and water quality analysts are investigating the best way to monitory the water quality.

The CDC has given the Whitewater Center operators contact information for several large water system engineering consultants.

Experts have not come up with a plan to remove the amoeba infested waters from the Whitewater Center.