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Committee set up to enhance public swimming pool management

An inter-departmental committee to further strengthen public swimming pool management had its first meeting this afternoon (November 2).

Set up by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD), the Steering Committee on the Management of Public Swimming Pools aims at enhancing closer interdepartmental co-operation in delivering quality service in public swimming pools, particularly on monitoring of water quality, environmental hygiene and cleanliness, users participation in maintaining pool cleanliness, staff training and site supervision, as well as other pool management issues.

Chaired by the Director of Leisure and Cultural Services, Ms Anissa Wong, members of the Steering Committee include representatives from Department of Health, Food and Environmental Health Department, Electrical and Mechanical Services Department, Architectural Services Department, Water Supplies Department and Home Affairs Department.

Two experts - Head of Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine of the University of Hong Kong Professor Yuen Kwok-yung and Council Member of the Hong Kong Institute of Engineers Mr Victor Cheung Chi-kong - have been invited to serve as advisers to the committee.

Four working groups, namely on water quality, environmental hygiene and cleanliness, staff training and performance management, and usage of the public swimming pools, have been set up to examine their specific areas. They will report work progress to the Steering Committee.

At today's meeting, members noted the smooth operation of the weekly major cleaning operation carried out in every public swimming pool. The weekly cleaning arrangement will continue in pools that remain open in winter.

Following joint inspections with the Architectural Services Department, arrangements will be made during the annual overhaul of swimming pools to replace artificial turf by ceramic tiles which are more durable and easily cleansed and maintained.

Also, a phased programme will be carried out during the winter closure of pools on the removal or modification work of play equipment sets which pose cleaning problems.

In order to closely monitor the water quality, the LCSD has increased the frequency of bacteriological counts and tests on PH values and free residual chlorine levels of water samples taken from public swimming pools.

Members were also informed at the meeting that a series of refresher courses would be organised for LCSD staff including venue managers and pool supervisors. These include training on the operation of filtration plants, water test techniques and contingency measures to deal with irregularities discovered in public swimming pools.

Education and publicity programmes to enhance public co-operation in maintaining hygiene and cleanliness of public swimming pools are to be worked out. New measures devised will be reported to the Community Sports Committee and District Councils before implementation.

Ends/Tuesday, November 2, 2004
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