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LCSD endeavors to maintain high standard of hygiene at swimming pools

     In response to media enquiries, the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) today (July 31) stressed that the department has all along attached great importance to the water quality of its swimming pools and endeavored to maintain high standard of hygiene and transparency of water test results in order to provide clean and quality swimming environment to the public.

     The department has a well-developed filtration and sterilisation system. The water of swimming pools is continuously filtered and sterilised throughout the opening hours. Making reference to the guidelines issued by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and in consultation with the Department of Health, the LCSD has decided the parameters for monitoring water quality of the department's swimming pools.

     Free Residual Chlorine, pH value, total bacteria count, E. coli and Vibrio cholerae of pool water will be closely monitored. To ensure that the pool water is up to hygiene standards, staff will take water samples from swimming pools for tests on an hourly basis. Recognised laboratories will take samples at swimming pools of different complexes every week. The results of the laboratory tests will be posted at the swimming pool complexes and uploaded to the LCSD webpage for the public’s reference.

     If the water quality is found to be unsatisfactory, staff will take immediate and appropriate follow-up action to deal with different situations in accordance with the advice of the Department of Health. If over 10 E. coli is found in 100 milliliters of pool water, the pool will be closed for checking, sterilisation and cleansing. It will be reopened only after the water quality is confirmed to be satisfactory. If the total bacteria count has exceeded the limit, levels of free residual chlorine and pH value will be increased immediately to sterilise the water. Since the measures are sufficient to protect the health of swimmers, the pool will remain open. If vomitus or faeces is discovered, the pool will be temporarily closed for cleaning and superchlorination. It will be reopened after a full circulation of water is completed. All these measures are taken in accordance with the detailed guidelines set up in consultation with the Department of Health.

     If swimmers will be greatly affected by the closure of swimming pools, for example, when all or most of the swimming pools in the pool complex will be closed for a period, the department will inform the public through press releases, the department's website and notices which are posted up at the pool complex.

     The department was informed yesterday that over 10 E. coli was found in 100 milliliters of the water of the main pool, the secondary pool and the teaching pool No. 3 of the Morse Park Swimming Pool complex. As the pools share the sterilisation and filtration system with three other pools (the diving pool and teaching pools No. 1 and 2), the department followed the guidelines and closed the six pools.

     After the closure, superchlorination to the pool water was conducted. Since the majority of the facilities in the complex were closed, leaving only three shallow water pools (the children's fun pool and two toddler's fun pools) remain open, the public was informed via press release, the department's website and notices posted up at the pool complex.

     The department received on July 29 test results showing that the total bacteria counts of the water samples collected from the Kennedy Town Swimming Pool main pool and Tin Shui Wai Swimming Pool teaching pool have exceeded the prescribed limit. The chlorine level and pH level of the two pools have been enhanced immediately for sterilisation. Water test results were posted at the pool complexes and the department's website to inform the public.

     Since there was no need to close the affected pools and all facilities in the pool complexes remained open, there was no need to issue a press release. The latest water test reports received this afternoon confirmed that the water quality of the two affected pools is satisfactory.

Ends/Friday, July 31, 2009

For the water quality report posted at the Morse Park Swimming Pool complex, please refer to:

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