Cryptosporidium - The Germ for 2019

manfacro

Well-known member
Jul 9, 2018
90
Davenport, FL
Hi all, the last few days my news feed has been full of stories about the new pool superbug called “Crypto”.


Many news sites have an article about it, here are some highlights from what I have seen...

* Chlorine is ineffective against it
* Ozone Generator can kill it
* Wipe pool toys down with hydrogen peroxide because bleach based cleaners won’t work
* Superchlorinating Shock can be used to kill the germs. (Wtf? Isn’t that bleach)


So the articles seem to be all over the place. What are the thoughts from the industry experts here? Yes showering and being careful are one thing, but chemically, why is the CDC saying this is so bad?
 
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Richard320

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
22,885
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
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JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
16,638
Tucson, AZ
So does anyone regularly open up their backyard pool to dozens of bathers everyday? Block party in your pool??? Anyone? No?

Ok then, are you immunocompromised, under the age of 6 months or elderly in poor health?? Anyone?? No.

Then it’s not really an issue. Crypto causes bad diarrhea and GI distress in most normal healthy people. It is transmitted via fecal matter and it can sometimes come from the external environment around the pool. Yes, chlorine at typical levels can’t kill it because the terminal form in transmission is an oocyst (egg) with a chemically resistant outer shell. However, as long as your weekly pool party consists of those living in your home, you are at minimal risk.

Ozone can kill it but most pool ozone systems are ineffective at that. Peroxide can kill it at high levels. Practicing clean bather rules and not allowing anyone with an active infection in your pool is the most effective way to avoid it.
 

Donldson

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 12, 2009
4,225
NW Ohio
444 outbreaks in 8 years.... 35% linked to pools. Yawn.
For those who aren't quite the math types, that's less than 20 cases contracted via pools per year. I would be willing to bet most of those were public pools. Meanwhile 390 drown in a swimming pool in the US each year, and I would be willing to bet most of those were residential pools. The odds are far far far more likely that you will drown in your own pool than contract Crypto.

I would encourage everyone to stop for a moment, set the paranoia aside, ignore the "this pool related illness COULD KILL YOU!" headlines, and recognize this for what it is: a low risk hazard that is very unlikely to affect someone's private pool.
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
16,638
Tucson, AZ
For those who aren't quite the math types, that's less than 20 cases contracted via pools per year. I would be willing to bet most of those were public pools. Meanwhile 390 drown in a swimming pool in the US each year, and I would be willing to bet most of those were residential pools. The odds are far far far more likely that you will drown in your own pool than contract Crypto.

I would encourage everyone to stop for a moment, set the paranoia aside, ignore the "this pool related illness COULD KILL YOU!" headlines, and recognize this for what it is: a low risk hazard that is very unlikely to affect someone's private pool.
Or, ya know, just delete your Facebook account because, honestly, it’s probably the worst disseminator of useless and incorrect information in the history of the world .... good job Zuck (y)

Excuse me now while I go outside to change the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser in my skimmer....
 

TomGallopavo

Well-known member
Apr 2, 2016
284
Hillbillyville, MO
So does anyone regularly open up their backyard pool to dozens of bathers everyday? Block party in your pool??? Anyone? No?

Ok then, are you immunocompromised, under the age of 6 months or elderly in poor health?? Anyone?? No.

Then it’s not really an issue. Crypto causes bad diarrhea and GI distress in most normal healthy people. It is transmitted via fecal matter and it can sometimes come from the external environment around the pool. Yes, chlorine at typical levels can’t kill it because the terminal form in transmission is an oocyst (egg) with a chemically resistant outer shell. However, as long as your weekly pool party consists of those living in your home, you are at minimal risk.

Ozone can kill it but most pool ozone systems are ineffective at that. Peroxide can kill it at high levels. Practicing clean bather rules and not allowing anyone with an active infection in your pool is the most effective way to avoid it.

Thanks for that, I assume that is tfp fc levels and not the town pool. Interesting the oocyst can resist the reduction...have to look that up.
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
16,638
Tucson, AZ
Thanks for that, I assume that is tfp fc levels and not the town pool. Interesting the oocyst can resist the reduction...have to look that up.
It’s oxidation. But yes, most parasites and pathogens that are spore/egg forming in their life cycle are much harder to kill. One of the more effective ways to deal with those is through coagulation techniques - you use coagulants to cause all the suspended solids (including pathogens) to coalesce into large particulates that can more easily be removed by sedimentation or filtration. SeaKlear sells a two part clarifier that is specifically designed for the process. However, like all filtration aids, it has to be properly used and requires the right kind of filtering equipment to be successful.
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2010
43,238
Tucson, AZ
I can't help but think of the flesh eating bacteria stories that are showing up in the news now also. 2 people out of how many millions of people that have gone to the beach have now been reported?
 

Wobblerlorri

Bronze Supporter
Crypto is the sexy bug this season. Look, yes, it will make you sick, but your chances of winning the lottery are better than you picking up Crypto from your personal pool. It's not that easy to catch.

The organism released eggs called oocysts, which have a tough outer shell which protects them from attack by oxidizing chemicals. Chlorine is an oxidizer. The shell also allows the organism to withstand adverse conditions like low moisture.

Don't get all paranoid about it. Keep your FC at the proper level and don't let sick people swim in your pool. Simple as that.
 

1poolman1

In The Industry
Jul 14, 2014
30
Sacramento
Its not that crypto can't be killed with chlorine, its that the contact time is so long that it appears to be ineffective. You can find many articles on that subject, especially this time of year. So far, it appears that a combination of UV and ozone are the best way to minimize an already minimal risk in your own pool. Common sense, like don't go swimming or allow anyone to go swimming, who has had diarrhea in the last 24 hours. If there is a "fecal" accident, follow proper clean-up procedure (again available online) and stay out of the water as the instruction call for. Personally, I would avoid any public pool like an apartment, hotel, water-park, etc. that I couldn't test myself. Research will show that most of the cases that show up are not pool related but from open waters like lakes and stream.
 

Wobblerlorri

Bronze Supporter
Personally, I would avoid any public pool like an apartment, hotel, water-park, etc. that I couldn't test myself.
I highly doubt any public pool would test for Cryptosporidium -- it takes passing a large quantity of suspect water through a filter wrapped with 1 micron fiber, then examining the fiber for oocysts. There is no simple test for it.

But staying out of public pools and water parks is always a good idea.
 

dschlic1

LifeTime Supporter
Oct 5, 2007
616
Valrico, FL
There actually is an online instrument that can detect Crypto and Gillardia. It is called a particle counter. Expensive and used mostly in potable water plants which use surface water.