Rigby’s Water World owners say water is safe after parasite complaints

WARNER ROBINS, Georgia (41NBC/ WMGT) – Owners of a new water park in Middle Georgia say after receiving multiple health complaints of parasites, it is safe to swim again. The state is looking into what caused the diarrhea parasite to infest water.

Since the beginning of the month the Northern Central Health District has been working with Rigby’s Water World to get rid of the parasite known as Cryptosporidium. The parasite is resistant to normal chlorine levels.

“Cryptosporidium can occur in normal chlorinated levels, so it’s not that our chlorine was out of whack or PH was out of whack. That’s not the cause of it. The cause of it was that it was introduced to the water,” Rigby’s Water World General Manager Steve Brown said.

The Director of the North Central Health District, Michael Hokanson, says the water parasite can live in normal chlorinated levels. So to fight-off the parasite, Hokanson says they had to add more chlorine.

“Our environmental health specialist went out there. We made sure that hyper-chlorination had been done and that the chlorine levels had been taken back down to those regulation safe swim levels,” Hokanson said.

Rigby’s Water World General Manager Steve Brown says they can’t completely avoid the parasite from entering the water again.

“Just maintain our levels as we need to, based on the health department guidelines because to prevent it completely, patrons couldn’t swim in the water if you had the chlorine levels so high. It would be impossible to utilize the pool,” Brown said.

By educating the public on pool-hygiene, it can cut the risk of Cryptosporidum from reappearing.

“Not swimming if you’ve had diarrhea in the last two weeks, use good hygiene, take frequent bathroom breaks, change swim diapers often and shower,” Brown said.

Symptoms from the parasite are: diarrhea, stomach cramps, abdomen pain, vomiting and exhaustion.

Hokanson says it could take up to ten days to get rid of the parasite.

The director says the investigation of exactly how the parasite got into the pool is ongoing.
To help with the investigation, he says, take a survey if you visited Rigby’s Water World between the time it opened and August 5th.

Click here for the survey.

Categories: Houston County, Local News

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