CHAMPAIGN — The main pool at the Sholem Aquatic Center in Champaign will remain closed until Saturday morning while park district employees treat the water following "an incident of severe diarrhea" that happened Thursday.
"It happened about 8 p.m. Thursday," said park district spokesman Laura Auteberry.
And because the patron who had the accident left without informing any district employees, the park district has to react, as the law requires, to the worst-case scenario.
"We have to operate under the possibility of an organism called cryptosporidium being present. It can cause infection. It takes a little more to kill that bacteria. Vomit and blood we can kill quickly with a chlorine push."
"We don't know this individual had it (cryptosporidium). But because this was a pretty severe case in the main pool, the law requires us to close down because we have to do a very extensive push of chlorine. We have to get it to a certain level that will kill all bacteria and it has to stay at that level for a certain time, then we have to bring it back to a normal level and flush it," Auteberry explained.
Auteberry took the opportunity to ask the public that if anyone planning to come to the pool has any intestinal distress to please stay home. And parents of toddlers should use only swim-approved diapers.
"If you're at the pool and something happens, tell a staff person so we can get the details we need to handle the situation appropriately," she asked.
In this case, a lifeguard saw it happen but by the time the guard was able to get to the area, the person was gone.
The lazy river, the enclosed slides and the baby pool are open Friday. The main pool should be open in time for morning swimming lessons Saturday.
The pool normally opens to the general public at 11 a.m. and will be open until 8 p.m.