Managers of public swimming pools are being urged to speed up the release of reports on bacterial counts, the director of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department said yesterday.
Currently, test results for bacteria such as E coli and cholera organisms are released once a week. But Anissa Wong Sean-yee said her department was in talks with the Health Department and pool contractors on ways to provide more frequent public reports.
Water samples for testing chlorine and acidity levels are already collected every hour.
From this week, all water-quality data will be posted at public swimming pools, along with updates. Swimmers can also check the reports on the department's website.
However, a department spokesman admitted the bacteria data in the reports could be a week old.
Speaking after a visit to Shamshuipo Park's swimming pool, Ms Wong said it was difficult to update bacterial-count reports every day. 'We have to ensure the report is accurate before it is released, and it takes time to test the water samples, normally two days,' she said.
However, she said her department was working with contractors to publish more frequent updates.
She also promised to take immediate action if bacteria reached alarming levels or if bloodworms were discovered, without waiting for further confirmation tests.
The department will also work with the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department to monitor trees and plants that have an impact on hygiene in pools.
About 90 bloodworms, or mosquito larvae, were detected at pools in Shamshuipo Park on May 14. The pools were closed for 11 hours. Nine pools across Hong Kong were temporarily closed last summer after the discovery of bloodworms.