Cryptosporidium Brochure

Cryptosporidium

A HIDDEN RISK!!  Cryptosporidium is an organism that may be found in lakes, streams, rivers and springs, and in water systems drawing from these sources. These natural waters may be clear, cold and free­ run­ning and can look, smell and taste good. All of these indicators sometimes lead people to mistak­enly assume that natural waters are pure and safe to drink.

Some Forest Service water systems within the Angeles National Forest are supplied by surface sources and may be affected by Cryptosporidium. These systems have been shut down to protect the public and will remain closed until the problem is resolved. Even in areas where water is supplied, the best way to protect yourself and your family is to boil all water used for drinking or washing dishes for 5 minutes. We apologize for any incon­venience these precautions may cause you.

The Disease

The illness caused by Cryptosporidium can make you quite sick, but it is not usually life threatening for people with healthy immune systems. It does pose a serious threat to people with AIDS or other diseases that weaken the immune system.

Cryptosporidium can only be contracted through swallowing. It does not enter the body through cuts, the ears, or other openings.

Symptoms of this disease are similar to those caused by Giardia; diarrhea, headaches, stomach cramps and nausea. Much like Giardia, this parasite survives in the water in a hard shell, cyst form. Once inside the body, however, it develops into an active form. A Cryptosporidium cyst measures 3­5 microns (3microns is about 100 times smaller that the small­est speck of dust you see with the naked eye.) The only reliable way to destroy Cryptosporidium in water is boiling for at least 5minutes. It is not killed by freezing. It survives well in cold stream waters and cannot be removed with chlorine or iodine. Filters certified by the State of California and having the capability to filter down to 0.2 microns are effective in removing cysts from water systems.

To Protect Yourself!

Most people are unaware when they have been infected and return home from vacations before the onset of symptoms. If you suspect you have been exposed to Cryptosporidium from untreated water, you should contact your physician for medical advice.  If you would like more information concerning this disease, contact Los Angeles County, Department of Public Health information line at (800) 427­-8700.

The only reliable way to destroy Cryptosporidium in water is boiling for at least 5 minutes. It is not killed by freezing. It survives well in cold stream waters and cannot be removed with chlorine or iodine. Filters certified by the State of California and having the capability to filter down to 0.2 microns are effective in removing cysts from water systems.

What’s Being Done?

Although filtration/treatment plants capable of removing these cysts are very costly and conversion from surface springs and streams to deep wells is also costly, the Forest Service has made providing pure water a top priority. For more information contact:

ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST

701 N. Santa Anita Ave.

Arcadia, CA 91006

(626) 574­-1613

FAX (626) 574-5233

CRS (800) 735-2922 (Voice)
CRS (800) 735-2929 (TDD/TTY)

http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/angeles

 

Los Angeles River Ranger District

12371 N. Little Tujunga Canyon Rd.

San Fernando, CA 91342

(818) 899­-1900

FAX (818) 896­-6727

CRS (800) 735-2922 (Voice)
CRS (800) 735-2929 (TDD/TTY)

 

Santa Clara/Mojave Rivers Ranger District

33708 Crown Valley Road

Acton, CA 93510

(661) 269-2808

FAX (661) 296­-2825

CRS (800) 735-2922 (Voice)
CRS (800) 735-2929 (TDD/TTY)

 

San Gabriel River Ranger District

110 N. Wabash Ave.

Glendora, CA 91741

(626) 335­-1251

FAX (626) 914­-3790

CRS (800) 735-2922 (Voice)
CRS (800) 735-2929 (TDD/TTY)

 

Issued 7/10





https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/angeles/maps-pubs/?cid=stelprdb5318328