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Public swimming pool hygiene hotline launches tomorrow

The Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) will launch a hotline – 2601 6801 - at 9am tomorrow (June 15) to collect public views that will help it upgrade the hygiene of public swimming pools.

An LCSD spokesman said the hotline would listen to the public views on the water quality and the hygiene level of the public swimming pools.

"People can express their views at any time, and immediate action and improvements will be made.

"The hotline will operate round the clock, with personnel to answer the calls and make referrals to the respective swimming pools so action can be taken."

Members of the public are encouraged to voice their opinions through this new channel, so that the LCSD can take immediate action with respect to their views or suggestions.

Last Saturday (June 11), the LCSD started a four-month survey at all public swimming pools to collect users' ratings of the cleanliness of the facilities.

Respondents will be randomly selected at the pools to answer brief and simple questions asked by Clean Swimming Pool Ambassadors.

If in doubt about the survey, the respondents are welcome to seek clarification from the staff on duty at the swimming pools.

The data collected from the survey and views expressed through the hotline will be analysed and used in devising more effective measures to keep swimming pools clean. All the individual particulars will be kept confidential.

Also, the department has formed a special inspection team, which will visit public swimming pools and beaches to check on the cleanliness of all the facilities and the security of the changing rooms, to support the work of the venue staff.

The team will contact the swimmers and listen to their views on improving the hygiene and security of the swimming venues.

The spokesman appealed to swimmers to follow the rules to maintain hygiene at public pools. "The swimming pools are our facilities and it is of the utmost importance for all users to keep them clean," he said.

The spokesman added that the Public Health and Municipal Services Ordinance (Cap 132) Public Swimming Pools Regulations stipulates that it is an offence to pollute the water in public swimming pools. An offender will be liable to a maximum penalty of $2,000 and 14 days' imprisonment.

The department adopts a zero-tolerance approach towards illicit photo-taking activities in its venues' changing rooms.

Such cases will be dealt with seriously and referred to the Police for follow-up action, the spokesman said.

Ends/Tuesday, June 14, 2005
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