Last summer there was an unprecedented increase in the number of cases of the
Recreational Water Illness Cryptosporidiosis (Crypto). Crypto infects a swimming
pool through fecal matter coming into contact with the water. Crypto is then spread
by swallowing recreational water contaminated with the parasite.

The Southern Nevada Health District issued a public health advisory, cautioning
residents who frequent recreational aquatic facilities such as public swimming pools
to exercise care.

The advisory was issued in response to seven confirmed cases of cryptosporidiosis
in Clark County in August.  There has also been an unprecedented 1,618 confirmed
cases reported to the
Utah Department of Health. But state health officials speculate
that the number of swimmers with crypto could be 10 times as high because most
people don’t visit the hospital after getting sick. Additional outbreaks have been
reported in Colorado, Idaho and Iowa.

Symptoms include profuse, watery diarrhea, low-grade fever, abdominal pain and
weight loss, and can appear one to 12 days following exposure. The illness can last
from one to 20 days in healthy individuals, including children. Infected individuals
can spread the illness for several weeks after symptoms resolve. It is also
recommended that they refrain from visiting swimming pools for approximately two
weeks after symptoms resolve.

The Utah Department of Health has also taken the extraordinary measure of
banning all children under 5 years old from public pools.  The ban applies to any
pool where the public has access, such as in hotels, apartment buildings, gyms and
condominium complexes. Pools in single-family residences are exempted.

“We permit the pools,” said Bob Ballew, public information officer at the Davis
County (Utah) Health Department. “We told the pool operators that if they want to
stay open, they will abide by the rules. [Noncompliance] is not an option.”

“Nobody in diapers. It doesn’t matter what age,” he said. That applies to swim
diapers, too.
Links to sources
in this article
Crypto can survive and infect even in properly chlorinated pools and spas. The
CDC web site states: "This germ is protected by an outer shell that allows it to
survive for long periods of time and makes it resistant to chlorine disinfection found
in pools".
The CDC also states that even in properly chlorinated water, (1ppm
chlorine &  7.5 pH), the time it takes to kill E. coli O157:H7 Bacterium is less than 1
minute, Hepatitis A Virus about 16 minutes,
while the Cryptosporidium Parasite
takes about 9600 minutes (6.7 days).
1) The most important thing we can do is INFORM. “Human behavior is a huge
factor that we’re trying to work on [to contain] this outbreak,” said Diane Raccasi,
epidemiologist at the Utah Department of Health in Salt Lake City. Many pool
patrons are unaware that a public swimming pool or spa is nothing more than a
large communal bathtub.

It is crucial that you inform your tenants about the importance of NOT SWIMMING
WHILE ILL, NOT TO SWALLOW POOL WATER, proper hygiene, not to change
diapers pool side, not to allow children under five in spas, etc. The CDC and the
UDH have PDF flyers and brochures  you may download, place in newsletters, post
and publicize. Westside Pool has made high quality signs to help raise awareness
about this critical issue.

2) Lower
Cyanuric acid, (CYA) levels. It is agreed that above 30 ppm CYA
diminishes the effectiveness of chlorine as a sanitizer. CYA is a by-product in pools
and spas that utilize trichlor tabs. The only way to lower CYA levels is through
dilution. Consequently  Westside Pool Inc., as a matter of policy will be maintaining
CYA at less than 50 ppm to ensure the effectiveness of the sanitizer in eliminating
pathogens. This will require frequent water changes and will incur a labor charge.
Westside Pool advises switching to liquid chlorine as it contains no CYA.

3) Hyperchlorinate. By raising the free available chlorine residual to 10 to 20 ppm,
we can eliminate the pathogens. The CDC recommends biocidal shock treatment
on a daily to weekly basis depending on water quality, bather load and frequency of
water replacement. Hyperchlorination may require closing the pool for 24 hours.

Automated Water Chemistry Controllers.  The three key benefits Automated
Water Chemistry Controllers provide is:

1)Controllers Feed sanitizer on DEMAND, thereby maintaining safe levels of
chlorine and pH. One of the most dangerous situations, and one that unfortunately
we see all to often, is one where a busy pool is allowed to periodically run
completely out of sanitizer.

2) Controllers measure the efficiency of the sanitizer in the water, not the just the
quantity. Controllers measure the
Oxidation Reduction Potential, (ORP) the ability
of the chlorine to "oxidize" the pathogen. The generally accepted (German DIN-
Standard originated) range for effective sanitation is an ORP of 650 to about 850
mV. Values much below 650 mV. become unsafe, whether in pools or in drinking
water preparation. Oxidation suffers proportionately as ORP drops below that
magical 650, and turbid water can show up right on cue.

3) Controllers check and adjust ORP and pH every minute and wirelessly alert the
pool operator when unsafe situations occur allowing IMMEDIATE resolution of the

To summarize:  Chlorine will not be an effective sanitizer in the presence of high pH
levels or excessive CYA concentrations. Controllers measure and maintain safe
levels of sanitizer and pH. In the event of that the sanitizer drops below the set
parameter, or pH levels are not adequate for safety, the controller will automatically
send a text message alarm and email to the pool operator who can respond
accordingly before a dangerous, unhealthy situation can occur.

Please contact us for further information...

None of the water we checked
showed any signs of bacteria.
Jamie's not surprised.
"Most of the Clark County (Municipal)
pools have a very automated system,
so whenever a chemical gets out of
range, they have constant testing to
let them know when something is
going wrong without having a pool
operator out here testing throughout
the day."
Jamie Hubert SNHD inspector as
quoted on