Water sample from Arlington aquatic facility tests negative for brain-eating amoeba

A water sample collected from the California Lane Park splash pad in Arlington tested negative for the presence of a brain-eating amoeba, the city announced in a news release Friday.

Public swimming pools and three of four of the city’s splash pads will be reopened starting Saturday.

The city says it is consulting with the Environmental Protection Agency, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Texas Department of State Health Services, Tarrant County Public Health and the City of Arlington’s Public Health Authority to “map out the next steps” for the splash pad located at 1931 East California Lane.

As a precaution, the splash pad will be closed for an additional round of hyper-chlorination and a follow-up test to ensure no organic matter — harmful or not — is present in the aquatic facility’s water supply, according to the release.

The results come after the city announced the closure of public splash pads and swimming pools on Wednesday after a sample from a facility detected the possible presence of the Naegleria fowleri amoeba — also known as a brain-eating amoeba — at the California Lane Park splash pad.

On Tuesday, the EPA sent the city a “critical notification” that a laboratory had observed active trophozoites in a water sample from Aug. 17. Trophozoites are part of the life cycle of some organisms, which could develop into Naegleria fowleri, according to the release. While extremely rare, Naegleria fowleri amoeba can cause fatal infections.

As the type of trophozoites were unidentified, the EPA said the findings should be considered “presumptive positive” and recommended the city to close the splash pad until results were available.

Although the sample in question was collected from only from one splash pad, the city decided to close all aquatic facilities out of an abundance of caution while waiting for test results, the release said.

The city said it will share follow-up test results once they are available and no longer asks the public who visited the California Lane Park splash pad within the last month to check for signs of illness.