Stab Magazine | BSR Cablepark Tests Come Back Negative* For Brain-Eating Amoeba
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BSR Cablepark Tests Come Back Negative* For Brain-Eating Amoeba

“Going forward BSR will have the cleanest water anywhere in the United States.”

Words by stab

AMENDMENT: Although Naegleria fowleri was not officially found at BSR, it’s come to our attention that the below piece did not tell the whole story of the investigation. According to the Waco Health Department: 

“Results of environmental sampling conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in collaboration with the Waco-McLennan County Public Health District (WMCPHD) and the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) found evidence of Naegleria fowleri, a free-living amoeba (single celled organism) that causes Primary Amebic Meningoencephalitis, a rare and devastating brain infection with an over 97% fatality rate at the BSR Cable Park and Surf Resort (BSR). A New Jersey resident who had visited BSR this summer died after contracting the disease. Epidemiological and environmental assessment indicate that exposure likely occurred at this facility.” We apologize for any confusion. 

Today, after CDC tests and scares that hit too close to home for anyone who has visited BSR Cablepark in Waco, the wavepool, Royal Flush Water Slide and Lazy River have been cleared of the brain eating amoeba that took the life of New Jersey’s Fab Stabile at the end of September.

The news of Fab’s death fell on the back of Stab High and raised anxiety into the highest tier. After plenty of research, it became apparent that the amoeba, Naegleria fowleri, is incredibly rare…and incredibly deadly. According to the CDC, out of 143 known cases in the United States, only four infected individuals have survived.

Every year, come winter, BSR shuts down then reopens in spring, on March 1st. On September 30th, following the tragic death and pending investigation, the park closed its doors a month earlier than it did in 2017, October 31st.

If you’ve ridden the Waco Wavepool or visited BSR, you’ve questioned the water. It’s milky blue. It has a silky texture. And, for anyone used to the ocean or fresh water, the lack of clarity and color takes a while to wrap your head around.

Now, Stuart Parsons, the owner and founder of BSR is taking every possible precaution necessary to ensure suspicion of their park being the source of the deadly amoeba won’t happen twice.

“Although comprehensive test results have now confirmed that the water at BSR Surf Resort meets every standard for safety, today I am announcing that we are going the extra mile and hiring a North Carolina firm to install a state-of-the-art filtration system to make our water in the surf, on lazy river, and at the Royal Flush slide is as clear and clean as humanly possible. It will take us to February to complete the installation of this new filtration system working very closely with local, state and CDC officials,” Stuart stated in a press release.

“There are only a few of these man-made surf parks in the country today, but many more will be built. Our goal is to set the highest standard for these facilities. Going forward, BSR Surf Resort will have the cleanest water anywhere in the United States.”

When we got the news, we called up the man who helped create the famed Waco air section, Maui to Central Texas transplant Cheyne Magnusson, for a few finer details. Ie: The current state of the pool, the costs, and when they will reopen.

“We are going for swimming pool clarity,” Cheyne tells Stab. “I’ve had long talks with Stuart about the coloring of the water and the negativity that it gives off.

“We are painting the bottom of the pool white,” he continues. “Right now, it’s drained and we have a complete overhaul in the works. A state of the art filtration system is being installed, along with automated chlorination. Come reopening, the water will be clear and we will maintain it at a swimming pool standard. Which will cost roughly half a million dollars, but whatever the cost is will be worth it. At the end of the day, it feels good to hear the news that the amoeba didn’t come from us, however, it’s not a time to celebrate. We can’t forget that someone passed away.

“This is a time to raise awareness. We are in the pioneer days of this industry [surf parks]. Hopefully, this issue is a nudge in the right direction for the standard of water quality for surf parks to require filtration, and ultraviolet and chlorination systems.”

“We plan on reopening March 1st [the date BSR traditionally reopens its doors after winter],” says Cheyne.

“If there are any speed bumps with construction or the system we will update people as soon as we can.

“We will be transparent to our clientele, literally and figuratively.”

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