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Exchange of views with German environmental expert on swimming pool water quality

A visiting German environmental expert has shown understanding about the series of measures taken by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) to monitor water quality in public swimming pools.

"With an open mind about the adoption of new technology in swimming pool sterilization and disinfection, representatives from various Government departments involved in the construction and operation of public swimming pools had a useful exchange of views with Dr Ernst Stottmeister, a staff member of the Federal Environmental Agency of Germany now visiting Hong Kong in his private capacity,"an LCSD spokesman said today (November 10).

"During the exchange, Government representatives explained to the visiting expert that the residual chlorine level in local public swimming pools is monitored on hourly basis and the level adopted meets the standard recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Ozone and residual chlorine are used for disinfection of the pool water of local public swimming pools, which are effective disinfectants recommended by the WHO.

"There was consensus in the exchange that different disinfection material could achieve the same objective for maintaining water quality although they may have different characteristics," the spokesman said.

"Sharing what he considered as good practices in Germany, the visiting expert also noted that LCSD measures the combined chlorine level of the pool water and past results showed that the content has been less than 0.2 parts per million (ppm) which is within WHO guidelines. Moreover, LCSD also monitors the Oxidation and Reduction Potential of the sterilization system and maintains the level between 750 to 800 millivolts to ensure the efficiency of the system," the spokesman added.

Exchanging views on the parameters to be monitored for pool water, the visiting expert also noted that the turbidity readings recorded at LCSD”¦s swimming pools from January to September this year were mostly below 0.5 NTU (Nephelometric Turbidity Units), reflecting a high degree of water clarity which is in line with the WHO guidelines.

The spokesman reiterated that the LCSD works closely with the Architectural Services Department, the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department and the Department of Health to keep abreast of the latest international development in swimming pool filtration and sterilisation systems. The departments would study and evaluate the need and feasibility to introduce new technology with an open mind from time to time, with an aim to providing a cleaner and more hygienic swimming pool environment for the swimmers.

The exchange with the visiting expert was considered useful and informative.

Ends/Thursday, November 10, 2005
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