While pools in Columbus work to combat a diarrheal disease that has reportedly hit more than 200 people, Westerville parks and recreation leaders say the city's pools are safe.

While pools in Columbus work to combat a diarrheal disease that has reportedly hit more than 200 people, Westerville parks and recreation leaders say the city's pools are safe.

Columbus-area pools have been fighting cryptosporidiosis, known largely as crypto, for much of August. Central Ohio destinations like Zoombezi Bay and various public swimming sites, along with those that have splash pads, in Franklin County have reportedly been fighting the disease with extra chlorine.

Parks and Recreation Director Randy Auler said his department is using more chlorine than usual as well, and has been proactive since early reports of the disease were made.

"When it first occurred at Zoombezi Bay, we started working right away with the Franklin County Health Department," Auler said. "They've tested our water and we have been fine. Since that time, we've super-chlorinated the water at Highlands Park Aquatic Center a few times and at the community center, we've done the same thing."

Auler said one of the major reasons Westerville has been less likely to see the disease is the restrictions they put on swim time for children.

"We have mandatory rest breaks where all the children are out of the water each hour for a certain amount of time," he said. "Sometimes, kids are kids -- especially little kids -- and they have accidents. That's helped a great deal to remind them to take a break and remind them to use the bathroom."

Aquatics Supervisor JR Fourqurean said that process is something his employees have stressed lately.

"It just reminds them to get out and go to the bathroom ... and we still stress to people when they come in to take a shower, rinse off and wash your hands," he said.

Westerville also has an ultraviolet ray filtration system that was recently installed. Auler said it's been a "tremendous help" in cleaning the water, and Fourqurean agreed.

"It's been a really great benefit to have here in the community center," he said.

Fourqurean said the uptick in diseases is largely because of increased traffic in the heat of the summer.

He said there's no link between outdoor or indoor cases, and the city simply needs to stay vigilant in keeping things sanitary.

Auler said he isn't worried, and he expects the pools to continue to be safe.

"We've been following all the guidelines; we're doing everything we can do," he said. "As long as citizens that use the pool do the things they should do ... it works. So far we haven't had any situations."

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