This summer hundreds of swimmers in Arizona and Ohio have become ill after swimming at recreational aquatics facilities infected with Cryptosporidium. Cryptosporidium parvum is a protozoan that causes severe gastrointestinal illness that can lead to hospitalization. Crypto, as it is commonly called, is spread through fecal matter (i.e., swim diapers or sick swimmers) and presents a challenge because typical levels of chlorine that are safe to swim in do not destroy it. When an outbreak occurs, swimmers can become gravely ill, the pool must shut down until the Crypto is eliminated, and the facility can be exposed to lawsuits to cover medical bills and other expenses. Arizona and Ohio are not the only states to report problems with Crypto this summer. Pennsylvania, Alabama, North Carolina and Minnesota have all reported outbreaks linked to pools, water parks and splash pads. Increases in instances of Crypto in public pools across the nation has prompted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to recommend that all public recreational water facilities use a secondary sanitation system that will effectively destroy the bacteria. While UV systems are an option, they can be expensive to install and operate and if buildup occurs on the bulb, it doesn’t work effectively. A more cost and energy-efficient option is a hydroxyl-based advanced oxidation system. Proven to rapidly destroy Crypto, these systems can help you better protect your swimmers.
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