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Poop in the pool: Italy closes 10 water parks in hygiene crackdown

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By Alessio Dellanna  with ANSA
Italian police carrying out a health control in a waterpark, in a picture published by the Carabinieri police arm
Italian police carrying out a health control in a waterpark, in a picture published by the Carabinieri police arm   -   Copyright  Twitter/_Carabinieri_

It's the peak of summer tourist season in Italy, and at this time of year the country's water parks should be full of fun-seekers trying to keep cool in soaring temperatures.

But authorities have pulled the plug on ten popular water parks, after finding "vast quantities" of fecal bacteria in the pools. 

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water, police carried out tests at 288 locations around the country and identified problems with almost a third of the water parks: including health, hygiene and security issues. 

Ten parks were closed completely, mostly in southern and central Italy. 

"Dangerous" health risks were found in waterparks in Messina, Viterbo and Latina; while parks in Naples, Bari and Reggio Calabria didn't even have the legal permits needed to operate. 

Another three locations didn't meet legal and infrastructure requirements to stay open. 

Police also seized more than 250kg of food that had either expired or lacked traceability. Authorities handed out 108 fines amounting to more than €40,000.