Pinellas News

Tarpon assures residents new splash park is safe

— The chances the city’s new water park was the source of three reported cryptosporidium cases are slim, according to public health officials.

The splash park, its equipment and its filtration system are all brand new.

Despite that low probability, city officials want to be as proactive as possible when it comes to public health and safety issues, according to a press release from Research and Information Officer Judy Staley.

“We would like to reiterate that we take the health of our park patrons very seriously,” the official statement read, explaining that the “deep cleaning of the system” was completed Friday so that the park, which opened in late June, could reopen this past Saturday morning.

City workers locked up the park on Live Oak Street from Thursday to Saturday morning after the Department of Health in Pinellas County received three confirmed cases of cryptosporidium involving individuals who had been at the Tarpon Springs Splash Park during the incubation period around the fourth week of July.

In addition to shuttering the park, city workers replaced and re-treated the water and all associated water systems, including changing out the sand in the filtration system. Sand replacement is normally done every 10 years, the city says.

Staley reported that a DOH-Pinellas official contacted the city last Thursday and described the preventative measures as going “above and beyond to insure the safety of the park.”

County public health officials have been alerting residents of a rise in crypto cases this summer. Crypto is a parasitic disease that can cause loose, watery diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting and slight fever, a health department press release stated. The disease spreads easily in households, in child-care settings and through swimming in contaminated pools or hot tubs.

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