(KMOV.com) – St. Louis County health officials have been forced to close five pools this year because they have tested positive for bacteria.
St. Louis County tests 900 pools every summer for bacteria, including municipal pools, and pools at apartment complexes and schools. So far, 160 tests have been conducted and officials said 29 have tested positive for high levels of bacteria, which 50 percent higher than in recent years.
“We’ve had outbreaks in the past of other things but over the past three years haven’t had as many incidents of bacteria samples coming back as we have this year,” said Carrie Dickhans with the St. Louis County Health Department.
“The other day we had 250 people come through our gates. We have a swim team here, we have a very popular pool, especially this time of year,” said Manchester City Administrator Andy Hixson.
The Manchester Aquatic Center was closed because a woman who swam there tested positive for cryptosporidium, a parasite that can cause diarrhea. It is unclear if she contracted it from the pool or somewhere else.
The health department said it recommends that pools where bacteria is detected super chlorinate, but they are not shut down unless e. coli is detected. Officials said some pools will be inspected more than once this summer.