Water Quality Survey of Splash Pads After a Waterborne Salmonellosis Outbreak—Tennessee, 2014


Waterborne outbreaks of salmonellosis are uncommon. The Tennessee Department of Health investigated a salmonellosis outbreak of 10 cases with the only common risk factor being exposure to a single splash pad. Risks included water splashed in the face at the splash pad and no free residual chlorine in the water system. We surveyed water quality and patron behaviors at splash pads statewide. Of the 29 splash pads participating in the water quality survey, 24 (83%) used a recirculating water system. Of the 24, 5 (21%) water samples were tested by polymerase chain reaction and found to be positive for E. coli, Giardia, norovirus, or Salmonella. Among 95 patrons observed, we identified common high-risk behaviors of sitting on the fountain or spray head and putting mouth to water. Water venue regulations and improved education of patrons are important to aid prevention efforts.

Speaker / Author: 
Joshua L. Clayton, MPH, PhD
Judy Manners, MSc
Susan Miller, MS
Craig Shepherd, MPH
John R. Dunn, DVM, PhD
William Schaffner, MD
Timothy F. Jones, MD
Month Year: 
June 2017
Page #: 
Publication Month: 
June 2017
EH Topics: