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Outbreak of Gastrointestinal Illness Among Patrons and Employees of a Water Park Following a Backflow Prevention Error—Colorado, 2018

Outbreak of Gastrointestinal Illness Among Patrons and Employees of a Water Park Following a Backflow Prevention Error—Colorado, 2018
Speaker(s): 
Thursday, October 17, 2019
10:00 am–10:50 am
RWI Prevention

In June 2018, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) and Tri-County Health Department (TCHD) were notified of an incorrectly installed backflow preventer that resulted in widespread contamination of a water park over two days. Non-potable water from a pond intended only to be used for lawn irrigation had been pulled into the potable water system in the park resulting in contamination of all potable water systems whose uses included drinking fountains, soda fountains, showers, food preparation, ice machines, and recreational water systems such as pools, splash pads, and misters. This presentation will identify the circumstances that led to the contamination and discuss the scope of the outbreak. Attendees will gain a greater understanding of the environmental health response and mitigation recommendations, as well as the public health response.