Price reopens Desert Wave swimming pool to young patrons
|Desert Wave pool administrator Tamara Gray points out the injection device on the facility's ozone water treatment system. The wave pool used the ozone system as a secondary method to augment the purification of the water, in addition to conventional clorination methods.|
Local swimming pools, including the Price Desert Wave, have been cleared of the recent ban for children ages 5 years old and younger.
In an Aug. 31 press release, the Southeastern Utah Health District asked all local pools to disallow the admittance of all children younger than the age of 5.
The request was due to a confirmed case of cyptosporidium in the Carbon County area.
"Upon contacting the health department, I was informed that the confirmed case did not come from our pool here in Price," said Tamara Gray, the city's facilities manager over the Desert Wave.
"I also learned that the ban had been lifted and it was safe for young children to return to the pool," added Gray.
The abdominal parasite outbreak has had a damaging impact on pools at locations across Utah in 2007.
But health officials indicated the public's safety had to come first until the outbreak could be contained.
According to Gray, the Desert Wave had taken all possible action to insure that the pool is free of the parasite.
The Price facilities manager reported that the water has been "super chlorinated," a procedure which raises the pool's chlorination level to 20 parts per million. Gray has also insisted that the pool maintain high chlorine levels that are safe for human skin, but insure the destruction of bacterium.
In addition to the increasing chlorination procedures, the Desert Wave has a secondary purification system that uses ozone to clean the pool's water.
According to Desert Wave information, ozone is generated by exposing oxygen molecules in an air stream to a controlled, high energy electrical field.
In the air stream oxygen molecules are split and then recombined with other oxygen molecules to form ozone.
Gray reported that ozone is the most powerful oxidizer available that can be safely used in water treatment.
It is used to treat drinking water, bottled water, swimming pool water, wastewater, food and beverage processing water as well as for many other applications.
Ozone is effective in performing several water treatment functions. The functions include:
Ozone causes the inactivation of viruses and cysts.
Oxidation of inorganics.
Ozone attracts molecules of magnesium, sulfides, nitrates and other heavy metals, then forces the combined materials to the bottom of the water for easier filtration.
Oxidation of organics.
Ozone removes organics causing color, taste and odor problems along with detergents and pesticides.
Other benefits of ozone include that unlike chlorine it leaves no taste or odor in the water and produces no harmful by products.
While the pool has been cleared of the cryptosporidum parasite, Gray warned residents that precautions still need to be taken to insure that the bacterium stays out of local pools.
Cryptosporidum is a protozoan parasite affecting the gastrointestinal tract of humans and animals.
The parasite is shed in the form of an "oocyst," which has a hard shell to protect it from the environment.
Infections may be asymptomatic or may cause watery diarrhea and abdominal cramps. It is commonly transmitted via the fecal-oral route and can be transmitted person to person and in waterborne modes.
Gray recommended taking the following precautions when bringing a small child to the pool:
All patrons should shower before entering the pool.
Make sure children wear a swim diaper that is checked often.
Never change a child near the pool area, there are change tables available in the restroom.
Make sure children are not sick when taking them to the pool. They should be over their sickness for at least two weeks before taking them to any public pool.
Avoid swallowing pool water.
"Between the ozone and the super chlorination we have made our facility very safe. The ozone system was very costly but it has given us piece of mind because of how clean it makes our water," said Gray.
It is Gray's hope that with the outbreak behind the pool, the Desert Wave can continue serving its patrons in Price.
"We are starting our fall swimmings lessons and I just wanted to make sure everyone knew that it was safe to go back into the water," concluded Gray.