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Preventing Water-Borne Illnesses

This summer, health agencies in two states reported outbreaks caused by cryptosporidium, a microscopic parasite that can have an enormous impact on the safety of recreational aquatic facilities. The Maricopa County (Ariz.) Department of Public Health investigated at least 19 reported cases of cryptosporidiosis in the Phoenix area, and the Wake County (N.C.) Public Health Division confirmed 29 cases of the parasite, which causes diarrheal illness in victims.

Justin Caron, Vice President, Aquatic Design Group, Carlsbad, Calif.Justin Caron, Vice President, Aquatic Design Group, Carlsbad, Calif.

Earlier this year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that almost 80 percent of public aquatic venue inspections identified at least one violation, and one in eight inspections resulted in an immediate closure of a facility because of serious health and safety violations, most notably improper pH, safety equipment and disinfectant concentration.

These reports underline the need for aquatic center directors to know how to prevent outbreaks from occurring in their facilities. In some municipalities, the onus is squarely on aquatic center directors to maintain a safe facility, as almost one-third of local health departments do not regulate, inspect or license public pools and water playgrounds. Justin Caron, vice president of aquatic architecture and engineering firm Aquatic Design Group, will share methods to reduce the risk of water-related illnesses during his session at the Athletic Business Show, Nov. 17-19.

Unlike other organisms found in fecal matter, such as E. coli and giardia, crypto is the most resistant to chlorine. Crypto has a contact time value of 15,300, meaning at one part per million of chlorine, it takes 15,300 minutes — or more than 10 1/2 days — for chlorine to kill or inactivate crypto. Of course, it would be difficult for aquatic center directors to close down their pools or water parks for almost two weeks in the event of a crypto outbreak. The solution is to increase the parts per million of chlorine to 20, reducing a pool's shutdown time to a more manageable 12 to 13 hours.

At the AB Show, Caron will educate aquatic center directors on how to prevent water-borne illnesses in their facilities by:

1. Training staff members how to operate, test and manage pools with the proper water filtration and chemistry.

2. Educating the public on the risks of water-borne illnesses and sharing prevention tips.

3. Implementing the best sanitization systems.

Transform your program, facility and career at the AB Show, Nov. 17-19. This premier event is the No. 1 place for you to learn how to build a great team, get top-notch education and tips from industry thought-leaders, and find the products and services you need to effectively manage and equip your program or facility.


Ab16 Show Logo 200Hear Justin's tips to help aquatic center directors during his AB Show session: "Preventing Recreational Water Illnesses."


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