Cryptosporidium in Swimming Pools

Cryptosporidium in Swimming Pools is a major hazard that operators need to control.

Let’s dive into the world of Cryptosporidium, a nasty little protozoan parasite that can make humans and animals quite sick.

When Cryptosporidium hangs out in the gut, it multiplies like crazy. And when it’s time to head out, it leaves behind little packages called oocysts, which are shed in faeces.

If someone swallows just one of these oocysts, they can get cryptosporidiosis and feel pretty awful. That’s why it’s super important for pool operators to act fast if they suspect the pool might be contaminated with faeces – especially since diarrhoea can contain cryptosporidium and chlorine won’t do much to stop it.

But even if you’re prepared to tackle Cryptosporidium, it’s no easy feat. This little bugger is resistant to chlorine (see the chart), which makes it tricky to disinfect swimming pool water. So what can you do?

Pathogen Chlorine survival 1ppm, pH7.5, 25oC
Escherichia coli <1 min
Giardia (another protozoan) 45 min
Cryptosporidium 10.6 days!

The key is good filtration – low or medium-rate, with coagulation. This is the best way to remove those pesky oocysts, although it might take a few passes through the filters to get rid of them all. And if you suspect an infestation, the pool will need to be closed so that the water can be circulated through the filters enough times to remove the contamination.

You can also use secondary disinfection methods like UV or ozone. And in some cases, superchlorination might do the trick.

So there you have it – a brief introduction to Cryptosporidium and how to keep it out of your pool. Stay safe and happy swimming!