PROVO — As Seven Peaks Water Park announced plans Monday to install ultraviolet filters, Utah County health officials reminded residents to do their part to prevent future cryptosporidium outbreaks.

Seven Peaks maintenance engineer Ken Kroeber said the Provo-based water park is investing $250,000 to install seven UV purification systems that will kill 99 percent of all organisms in the water.

He said the systems allow for faster pool water turnover — the amount of time it takes for 98 percent of the pool water to flow through the filtration system.

Kroeber said some of the pools will be filtered as many as eight times a day.

While Utah County Health Department is "100 percent behind" the addition of UV filtration systems, UCHD program manager Ron Tobler said cryptosporidium — a parasite that often spreads through water — can infect pool-goers long before it reaches the filter.

"There's no magic bullet to killing crypto," Tobler said.

Crypto are the fecal-borne parasites responsible for infecting nearly 2,000 Utahns last year. Symptoms include diarrhea, stomach cramps, fever, nausea and vomiting.

UCHD spokesman Lance Madigan said people need to take take precautions to prevent the spread of crypto by practicing good hygiene and not swimming when they have diarrhea.

"It's the same as flu season," he said. "There are certain steps the public needs to take to protect themselves."

Kroeber said he understands UV filtration isn't an end-all for the hard-shelled crypto, so the pool will be installing soap dispensers and enclosing all shower stalls to encourage pool patrons to shower thoroughly before swimming.

"We sure don't want the public assuming there's not a chance they can catch (crypto)," Kroeber said. "But we want to do our part to make (the water park) a safe place to swim."


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