With pool season approaching, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will soon have the national and industry news buzzing about the dangers of swimming-related injuries and illnesses, like cryptosporidium. It’s not a matter of if, but when, the next outbreak will happen.
When the crypto alarm sounds at your facility, you should have a solid plan in place if you want to avoid loss of revenue, legal liability and some seriously unhappy customers. By being proactive, you can manage your risk and calm your patrons’ fears.
What’s your crypto drill?
Just hoping your facility doesn’t get crypto is the most common, cheap and ineffective way to prepare. Instead, here are three ways you can protect your patrons, facility and career:
1. Be proactive, not reactive
Too often, aquatic professionals only think about cryptosporidium after an outbreak’s damage is done. Be proactive by creating a crypto protection plan that’s backed by an investment of time and resources.
Make sure to...
- Educate staff - Train your staff on how to respond to crypto’s signs, when to notify the public and local health departments, etc.
- Educate swimmers - Remind patrons to follow the safe swimming best practices, like showering before swimming, avoiding swallowing water, etc.
- Maintain quality and system availability - Measure and track your water chemistry regularly, maintain your equipment to optimum levels of performance and continuously train staff to identify systems that need maintenance.
2. Add secondary/supplemental sanitation
Put confidence in your facility’s crypto protection with supplemental or secondary sanitation. Crypto is resistant to chlorine, so alternative disinfection methods such as Advanced Oxidation Process, or AOP, or UV systems are necessary. While many have avoided UV based on cost, complexity and maintenance time, newer AOP solutions, like Clear Comfort, are effective, simple and reliable.
The key to successful deployment requires balancing a capital outlay and the future expenses required to maintain these secondary or supplementary sanitation systems. AOP systems can help with lower acquisition costs, chemical savings and simpler maintenance. In some cases, the benefits of these systems can offset or even outweigh the associated expenses.
3. Above all, communicate your efforts
After the CDC brings attention to Crypto, chemical injuries and other pool-related illnesses, make sure your patrons aren’t discouraged to swim by communicating your facility’s health-conscious precautions.
Start by taking the Clear Comfort Care pledge which states that you’ve done all the best practices. Additionally, you can promote your pledge on social media and around your facility to show your patrons you’re committed to their well-being.
Here are some things to keep in mind:
- There’s no such thing as being “too safe.” Create a crisis communication plan in case an outbreak happens in your region or facility.
- Practice transparency with the public. Taking responsibility can build trust while trying to cover up a crisis will worsen the damage
- In real-time, use social media to update the public and show you’re controlling the situation.