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4 key tips to prevent waterborne illnesses at pools

getty Saturday: Free swimming at Tempe's McClintock Pool
Posted at 9:45 PM, Jun 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-01 01:18:08-04

TEMPE, AZ — With the peak summer months upon us, health officials are warning of cryptosporidiosis or more commonly called "crypto." It's an illness often linked to water or pools that can make you very sick and cause watery diarrhea for an extended period of time.

As Arizonans try to cool off at water parks or public pools, waterborne illnesses can be a big concern.

"Once it gets hot out - that's when everyone wants to come out and get in the water and that's also when the sun comes out and the sun is what takes all those chemicals out of the water that helps keep things clean," says Rhett Pena, Operations Supervisor at Big Surf Waterpark in Tempe.

At Big Surf, waterborne illnesses are always on their radar. In fact, they use a variety of methods to mitigate any waterborne illnesses even targeting "crypto" directly.

The most powerful tool they use is filtering their water through a high powered ultraviolet light. "The U-V light is a high-intensity light that deactivates crypto. It makes it so that it can't re-produce basically," said Pena.

Big Surf treats around three million gallons of water on site and hosts around 300,000 guests annually.

The Centers for Disease Control says July and August can be the peak months cryptosporidiosis.

Prevention includes:
-Not letting your kids swim if they have diarrhea
-Don't swallow pool water
-Keep sick children away from the pool
-Shower before and after entering the pool.