About the Metroplex Cryptosporidium Scare
In 2008, there was a reasonable panic over the Cryptosporidium scare in the Ft. Worth area.
Every night the TV news showed pool closures for hyper-chlorination, and interviews with people afflicted with the horrible parasite. Here, at The Colony Aquatic Park, we are always very concerned with public safety.
We anticipated the issue, and actively worked to prevent an outbreak.
Steps Taken to Prevent a Cryptosporidium Outbreak
Here’s what The Colony Aquatic Park has done to prevent a Cryptosporidium outbreak:
- In 2007, we were the first pool in the region to use a new chemical (SeaKlear PRS) to inhibit Crypto. This product is designed to improve the filter’s ability to trap particles (down to 0.5 microns). The Crypto cysts are approximately 2 to 6 microns in size.
- We keep the base level of chlorine at 2 or 3 parts per million (ppm), instead of the 1 ppm that the state requires. That way, we don’t ever drop below the state standard.
- We hyper-chlorinate, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendation.
- Our staff actively works to enforce the “shower before swimming” rule.
- Our policy response for Formed-Stool and Diarrheal Fecal Accidents follows the CDC recommendations. We also do a gallon bleach drop in the immediate area (of a fecal release) to make sure that we have neutralized that target zone.
- We display signs and posters from the CDC warning people not to drink, spit or spout pool water. Our guards enforce the “no spitting or spouting” rule.
- We give visiting day cares plenty of the CDC brochures to inform parents why kids need to be kept out of the pool if they have diarrhea.
- We installed diaper changing stations in each restroom and stop adults from making changes on the deck and tables near the pools.
- On summer weekdays (when children are most likely to come to the pool alone) we have a 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. restroom/hydration break. Every child, age 7 through 17, is required to exit the pool water for 30 minutes. They are encouraged to take go to the restroom and to stop at the water fountain for a drink.
What You Can Do
The most important factor in our equation is you. The CDC outlines six “P-L-E-As” for Protection against Recreational Water Illnesses (RWIs):
- PLEASE don’t swim when you have diarrhea… this is especially important for kids in diapers.
- PLEASE don’t swallow the pool water.
- PLEASE practice good hygiene.
- PLEASE take your kids on bathroom breaks often.
- PLEASE change diapers in a bathroom and not at poolside.
- PLEASE wash your child thoroughly (especially the rear end) with soap and water before swimming.
These are the most reasonable methods to battle Recreational Water Illnesses known to this date. As the science of the industry improves… there will be more breakthroughs like the SeaKlear PRS that will increase our ability to prevent problems.
There is a special note if you have a weakened immune system from the CDC on the CDC's website.
We have tried to take every reasonable precaution to protect our guests. Our staff has no hesitation or aversion to swimming in our waters. If you have questions or suggestions, please contact the facility manager, Elise Knox via email or call her at 972-624-2225.