Six Flags Great America closes water park following parasitic infection

Posted Monday, August 21, 2006 9:13 AM | Contributed by Carl

Six Flags Great America's year-old water park, Hurricane Harbor, was closed this weekend after two Wisconsin youths were sickened with the parasite Cryptosporidium and two more were sick and waiting to learn if they have the same illness. The park was closed voluntarily on Friday for precautionary water treatment; no evidence of the parasite has been found at Hurricane Harbor. The park re-opened Sunday.

Read more from The Journal Sentinel and The Daily Herald.

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Monday, August 21, 2006 4:16 PM
Yikes. What a conundrum. Close the park and everyone panics. Don't close the park and it turns out to be legit, you are a bad guy.

Even so, things do happen in public pools. Yuck. My brother is a lifeguard and and experienced it first hand. That being said, they are usually very careful about keeping everything clean.

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Monday, August 21, 2006 5:50 PM
I used to be a Certified Swimming Pool Operator, something that was required by the state for taking care of pools used by the public. In this case it was for several apartment swimming pools.

Cryptosporidium is one of a handful of parasites/bacteria that normal levels of most disinfectant agents such as sodium hypochlorite will not kill. If someone comes to the park with this parasite in their system there's little that a properly chlorinated pool would do to it. If there's even a suspicion of it they usually close the affected pool or park and then super-chlorinate the water which will kill the bacteria at that level. After 24 hours or so the chlorine levels return to a safe level and the pool can reopen.

Six Flags probably did nothing wrong but people will still point fingers, that's their nature I guess.

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