What is Cryptosporidium?

Cryptosporidium is a microbial pathogen found in surface water throughout the U.S. It lives and reproduces only with the host.  In the environment, Cryptosporidium exists as a thick walled oocyst, containing four organisms.  Monitoring by Hot Springs Water Department in 2019 indicated no oocysts in the proposed Lake Ouachita Intake that is being considered for construction. It is important to know that although filtration removes Cryptosporidium, the most commonly used filtration methods cannot guarantee 100 percent removal.  Ingestion of Cryptosporidium may cause cryptosporidiosis, an abdominal infection. Symptoms of infection include nausea, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps. Most healthy individuals can overcome the disease within a few weeks.  However, immuno-compromised people are at greater risk of developing life threatening illness. We encourage immuno-compromised individuals to consult their doctor regarding appropriate precautions to take to avoid infection. Cryptosporidium must be ingested to cause disease, and it may be spread through means other than drinking water.

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1. What contaminants can be in our drinking water?
2. Am I at risk?
3. Where does our drinking water come from?
4. How safe is the source of our drinking water?
5. What is Cryptosporidium?
6. Lead and Drinking Water
7. How can I learn more about our drinking water?
8. Conserving Water = Saving Money
9. Utility Field Operations Emergency Service Center
10. Utility Billing Services