Few studies have assessed risk factors for sporadic cryptosporidiosis in industrialized countries, even though it may be numerically more common than outbreaks of disease. We carried out case-control studies assessing risk factors for sporadic disease in Melbourne and Adelaide, which have water supplies from different ends of the raw water spectrum. In addition to examining drinking water, we assessed several other exposures. 201 cases and 795 controls were recruited for Melbourne and 134 cases and 536 controls were recruited for Adelaide. Risk factors were similar for the two cities, with swimming in public pools and contact with a person with diarrhoea being most important. The consumption of plain tap water was not found to be associated with disease. This study emphasizes the need for regular public health messages to the public and swimming pool managers in an attempt to prevent sporadic cryptosporidiosis, as well as outbreaks of disease.