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Burger's Lake is open again

Visitors are once again having fun in the sun at Burger's Lake after health department officials assured owners the water was safe Sunday morning.

The popular swimming hole re-opened at 10:30 a.m. for the first time since July 16 after finishing a hyperchlorination process to fight the parasite Cryptosporidium, said Kay Thomas Mahan, assistant park manager.

Crypto, which is resistant to normal chlorine levels, is the most common cause of waterborne illness in the United States.

As of Wednesday, the department had confirmed 20 cases of cryptosporidiosis. Symptoms include diarrhea and nausea.

Hyperchlorination involves "shocking" the water with a concentrated dose of chlorine.

The park had originally planned to re-open Saturday morning, but after the hyperchlorination process, the lake's chlorine levels were still too high for swimmers, officials said.

The health department requires 20 parts per million of chlorine residual for 13 hours, Mahan said.

"We got ours to 60 parts," Mahan said. "But it was still too high yesterday."

Ideal chlorine levels range between 5 and 7.2 parts per million, which is where the lake tested Sunday, Mahan said.

"Safety is of up most importance to us," she said. "We are doing everything in our power to see that everything is safe here at Burger's Lake."