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Joint efforts to trace sources of "blood worms"

In view of the recent discovery of a few "blood worms" in Kowloon Park Swimming Pool, Kwun Tong Swimming Pool and Tai Wan Shan Swimming Pool, the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) has joined hands with several Government departments and university professors to inspect the pool filtration systems and carry out water checks there. Today (August 25) the department also invited the Police for assistance.

The Assistant Director of Leisure Services of LCSD, Mr Paul Cheung, told a press conference that no traces of "blood worms" or worm eggs were found after detail inspections of filtration and sterilisation systems in these pools. He added that water samples from the swimming pools were up to the required standard.

The Assistant Professor of Department of Microbiology of the University of Hong Kong, Dr Samson Wong, pointed out that he had inspected the Kowloon Park Swimming Pool and confirmed that the sterilisation and filtration systems there operated normal. Analysis on water quality also indicated that the chloride and bacterial levels did not exceed the permitted level.

Dr Wong said: "The swimming pool environment did not show that it is particularly suitable for worm eggs to become worms."

According to Associate Professor of the Department of Biology and Chemistry, City University of Hong Kong, Dr Richard Y H Cheung, swimming pools are not suitable for the growth of "blood worms" at all.

"The circulating pool water is constantly filtrated and would unlikely allow the growth of 'blood worms' at swimming pools. I believe that the 'blood worms' are not generated from the pools but are 'foreign objects'", he explained.

Mr Paul Cheung said: "After consolidating views from experts, we do not exclude the possibility that the 'blood worms' were brought into the pools from outside. We therefore have reported to the police for investigation today".

"To address public's concern, we will carry out thorough cleansing and sterilization work in Kowloon Park Swimming Pool, replace the sand trap and refill clean water to the pools. The whole pool complex is expected to be reopened in early September."

"As for the Kwun Tong Swimming Pool, we are conducting thorough cleansing and disinfection work after the pools were closed today. All swimming facilities there should be ready for public use within four to five days," he added.

Mr Cheung urged the public to take thorough shower before entering into the pools and to keep the pools clean and hygienic.

Ends/Wednesday, August 25, 2004
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