City of Lubbock Warns of Recreational Water Illnesses

Seven cases have been reported in July

The City of Lubbock is asking the public to be extra cautious and follow directions before entering a pool. The city has had seven reported cases of Cryptosporidium, a disease that can stay alive for up to seven days and has become the leading cause of swimming pool-related outbreaks of diarrhea illness.

“Take a shower before swimming, that will get any dirt off of you, don't drink the pool water and don't go potty in the water. You shouldn’t be getting water in your mouth while you swim, getting splashed in the face and it's really important to not drink the water but still people end up getting some water in their mouth,” Katherine Wells, the Director for the Public Health the City of Lubbock said.

Wells said the disease is also held in other bodies of water.

“There are certain playa lakes in the city you shouldn't be swimming in and those are well posted but then there are some that allow swimming and it's important to follow the rules,” Wells said.

***Below is a statement for the city***

July 28, 2017

Katherine Wells, MPH, Director of Public Health, (806) 775-2941 /


The City of Lubbock Health Department has seen an increase in reports of recreational water illnesses (RWIs) including Cryptosporidium (Crypto). RWIs are caused by germs spread by swallowing or having contact with contaminated water in swimming pools, water play areas, and natural bodies of water such as lakes. RWIs account for a wide variety of infections, including gastrointestinal, skin, ear, respiratory, eye, neurologic and wound infections. The most commonly reported RWI is diarrhea.

Contrary to popular belief, chlorine does not kill all germs instantly. There are germs today that are very tolerant to chlorine. Once these germs get in the pool, it can take anywhere from minutes to days for chlorine to kill them. Swallowing just a little water that contains these germs can make you sick.

In the past two decades, there has been a substantial increase in the number of RWI outbreaks associated with swimming. Crypto, which can stay alive for days even in well-maintained pools, has become the leading cause of swimming pool-related outbreaks of diarrheal illness.

Protect yourself, your family and your friends from germs in the water. Follow these 4 easy steps to help keep germs out of the water:

  • Stay out of the water if you have diarrhea. If diarrhea is caused by Crypto, wait at least two weeks, after the diarrhea has stopped, to go swimming.

  • Shower before getting in the water. This helps to remove any germs on your body that could contaminate the water.

  • Don’t pee or poo in the water. Take kids on bathroom breaks often, and check diapers in a diaper-changing area and not right next to the pool.

  • Don’t swallow the water.

We want everyone to share the fun in the water, but not the germs. To learn more about healthy swimming go to


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