In response to a recent spraypark outbreak, New York has issued a controversial emergency health code that requires ultraviolet disinfection systems.
The code, which went into effect in January, was issued in response to thecryptosporidium outbreak at Seneca Lake State Park spraypark in Geneva, N.Y., last summer. The outbreak sickened nearly 4,000 people and sparked a class action lawsuit.Crypto was found in the park?s holding tanks.
Along with requiring UV systems, the code requires that parks using recycled water obtain health permits and install signs telling patrons with diarrhea to keep out of the area. They also must fence parks to keep animals out.
But it?s the UV requirement that has some manufacturers concerned. They say UV systems cannot kill everything, including biofilms that protectcrypto from being treated adequately.
In addition, manufacturers are worried that the high cost of UV may be too much for smaller spraypark operations.
Health officials disagree. ?Protecting the public?s health is our No. 1 priority,? said Jeffrey Hammond, New York Department of Health spokesperson. ?UV is the most effective method for treatingcryptosporidium.?
Hammond added that UV is the ?industry standard? for eradicating biofilms and the state does not intend to shut down parks.
Others are unsure of the best protocol. ?I think [UV] is one valid approach for handling the issue of crypto,? said Shawn DeRosa, consultant with the Aquatic Safety Research Group, LLC, in Boston. ?The challenge is managing the risk the cost of installation, operation and use to spraypark attendees.?
He added that education would also be effective in preventing future outbreaks.
Cryptosporidium is a parasite that causes vomiting, diarrhea, fever, weight loss and other symptoms. It can be spread through fecal matter introduced into a recreational water setting and takes nearly a week to be destroyed by chlorine.