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How can I prevent a PAM infection?

To prevent infection by primary amebic meningeoncephalitis (PAM), it is recommended that those taking part in warm, fresh water-related activities use nose clips or hold their noses shut while jumping into water. With the ameba often found in soil, it is best to avoid stirring up underwater sediment.The Texas Department of Health recommends that people avoid stagnant or polluted water and take “No Swimming” signs seriously. PAM cannot be spread person to person nor by drinking water. Swimming ...
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What is primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM)?

Primary Amebic Meningeoncephalitis or PAM is a rare, almost always fatal disease caused by an ameba (naegleria fowleri) found in all untreated, fresh surface water and in soil. Most common during the summer, the ameba thrives in low levels of fresh water that is stagnant or slow-moving and is warmer than 80 degrees.The infection occurs when water containing the organism is forced into the nasal passages – usually from diving or jumping into water or from water skiing. The ameba makes its way in...
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Has golden algae been found in the Brazos River basin?

Yes, golden algae is present in parts of the basin year round. However, the great majority of the time it is at such a level that it has not caused a threat to fish in a few years. Fish kills occur when algae blooms and becomes toxic. This happened most recently in 2007, when the basin experienced a widespread fish kill.
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What is wildlife management?

A wildlife management exemption to Texas water rights allows property owners to build and maintain a dam or reservoir of not more than 200 acre-feet of water on qualified open-space land for the purpose of providing water to indigenous wildlife.
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What is non-point source pollution?

Non-point source pollution are harmful substances that occur as a result of human activities over a wide area rather than from one specific location. These include forms of diffuse pollution caused by sediment, nutrients, organic and toxic substances that wash off city streets, plowed fields or other developed areas. The pollution is carried to lakes and streams by runoff.  Examples of non-point source pollution are oil and gas that leak from cars and trucks onto the pavement or over applicaton ...
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Why are some lakes/rivers clearer than others?

There are a number of factors that may affect water clarity.  The chief factor in the clarity of lakes and rivers in Texas is sediment. The more sediment in a stream or body of water, the cloudier it appears. This factor can vary depending on geography and climate. Some areas naturally have more sediment drawn from the surrounding land, particularly agricultural areas, where soil is often broken up and exposed. Water tends to be cloudier during rainier seasons when runoff carries topsoil and oth...
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What are invasive plants?

Invasive plants are non-native, typically exotic plants that thrive when introduced into areas where they have no predators or disease control. They quickly reproduce and grow unchecked, crowding out native species that use the same habitat. Some examples of invasive plants in Texas include the Chinaberry tree, running bamboo and kudzu vine.Invasive water plants have a direct impact on Texas lakes.  Plants such as giant salvinia, a floating plant native to Brazil, is especially harmful as it gro...
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What is golden algae?

Golden algae is a naturally occurring microscopic algae that typically occurs in brackish water. Blooms of this algae can produce toxins that are lethal to fish and bivalves (mussels and clams). There is no evidence the toxins produced by golden algae are harmful to humans, livestock or wildlife.  It characteristically appears as brownish or tea-colored water.
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The information provided on this site is intended as background on water within the Brazos River basin. There should be no expectation that this information is all encompassing, complete or in any way examines every aspect of this very complex natural resource.

If you have questions about a post or would like additional information, please contact us or call 888-922-6272.

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