Swimmers urged to keep HK swimming pools clean

PUBLISHED : Friday, 31 March, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 31 March, 2006, 12:00am

Updated at 6.42pm:
Hong Kong officials on Friday urged swimmers to keep public swimming pools clean during this year?s swimming season, which would begin on Saturday.

Last year, some public swimming pools in the territory had to be closed for days after traces of bloodworms and human faeces were discovered in pool water.

This sparked public concern ? and disrupted the training of some of Hong Kong?s swimmers.

A spokesman for the Leisure and Cultural Services Department on Friday called on the public to maintain personal hygiene and observe the rules when using the pools.

?Swimmers are advised to use the toilet before swimming. Parents should tell their children to maintain personal and public hygiene and remind them not to urinate or defecate in the pools.? the spokesman said.

?You should not go swimming if you feel unwell and should consult a doctor as soon as possible. If a swimmer feels sick, he should leave the water at once and use the toilet if necessary,? he added.

The spokesman also said swimmers had to put their swimwear, slippers and T-shirts through shower baths before entering the pools to ensure their cleanliness.

He said that in the new swimming season, which would start on Saturday, public swimming pools across the territory would open daily from 6.30am to 10pm, in three sessions with two breaks in between.

Other than hygiene problems, services at some public swimming pools last summer were also disrupted by lifeguards? strikes. About 100 lifeguards went on strike in protest of a government decision to contract out management work at a new swimming pool and sports centre.

The protesting lifeguards were concerned that outsourcing plans would make them lose jobs and said they would worsen the quality of lifesaving services.

In other developments affecting swimming, lifeguard services will be provided at all 32 gazetted beaches managed by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) on Saturday. People are urged to remember water sports safety while swimming.

These beaches include: Deep Water Bay Beach, Repulse Bay Beach, Middle Bay Beach, South Bay Beach, Stanley Main Beach, Chung Hom Kok Beach, St Stephen?s Beach, Turtle Cove Beach, Shek O Beach and Big Wave Bay Beach in Southern District, Hong Kong Island; Hung Shing Yeh Beach and Lo So Shing Beach, among others.