Water quality is often overlooked when one plans on swimming. The excitement of swimming laps, cooling off on a hot summer day or having friends over for a BBQ take main priority and swimming in a pool with crystal clear blue water usually makes everyone feel safe. Not to mention, having fun at water parks and public pools is usually all that everyone is thinking about. It’s easy to feel safe when the water looks good but what could be in the water should be a concern to all swimmers including the waterborne disease Cryptosporidium which can be found in contaminated drinking water or recreational water. According to WebMD Cryptosporidium can be classified as, “a disease caused by a one-celled parasite, Cryptosporidium parvum, also known as “crypto.” Crypto, which cannot be seen without a very powerful microscope, is so small that over 10,000 of them would fit on the period at the end of this sentence.”
Even though it can’t be seen, there are certain things that you can do to prevent yourself from becoming contaminated and we hope this blog post gives you some insight on how to do that.
Symptoms of Cryptosporidium – some symptoms can take 2-10 days to appear after being affected.
- Stomach cramps
- Upset stomach
- Slight fever
As a swimmer you should be concerned because Cryptosporidium is the leading cause of waterborne illnesses in the United States and some of the symptoms could last up to 2-3 weeks. Children, pregnant women and those with weak immune systems are those that are at the highest risk of catching Cryptosporidium.
How do you get Cryptosporidium?
- Swallowing recreational water that is contaminated with Cryptosporidium – meaning that even if one person with diarrhea is in the swimming pool… that can affect everyone even with proper chlorine levels in the swimming pool.
- Putting something in your mouth that has been contaminated
How do you protect yourself or your family from getting Cryptosporidium
- If you have diarrhea, stay out of the swimming pool
- Don’t swallow the water
- Take a shower before you enter the swimming pool
- Don’t pee or poop in the swimming pool.
Based upon the above information, it can easily be understood as to why children are at such a high risk of getting this waterborne disease. Unfortunately, whether you are in a public pool or not, peeing in the swimming pool is a huge issue so taking frequent bathroom breaks is always a good idea. Maintaining proper water chemistry is also a good idea as well. The following is the most optimal levels….
Chlorine – 1-3ppm (parts per million)
pH – 7.2 – 7.8
If you’re concerned about the possibility of your swimming pool being affected by Cryptosporidium just raising the chlorine levels isn’t going to be enough as you’re going to need to change out the water as well. Thankfully, our mobile filtration “Puripool Process” can and will take out the disease Cryptosporidium making it safe to swim in your pool again while maintaining 85% of the water in the swimming pool too.