The government should place more lifeguards at public pools to prevent people defecating in the water, the chairman of Yau Tsim Mong District Council said yesterday after the problem surfaced at pools in Kowloon Park. The Leisure and Cultural Services Department has faced two cases of human faeces in the pools since they opened in April. The district councillor, Chan Man-yu, said he was concerned faeces could spread diseases. 'The problem right now is that there are not enough lifeguards and cleaners,' he said. 'Lifeguards are in charge of poolside hygiene. If there were more of them, they could do more inspections and prosecute those who foul the pools.' Mr Chan was one of several district councillors who inspected pools at Kowloon Park yesterday. The Hong Kong and Kowloon Lifeguards' Union handed a petition to a government official yesterday requesting that more lifeguards be placed at the pools. The petition stated that the number of lifeguards at pools in Kowloon Park had been reduced from 49 to 39 last year. 'The lifeguards are not getting the rest they need,' said Kwok Siu-kit, the union's vice-chairman. 'Some of them work for as many as seven hours with no break.' Mr Kwok said the faeces were probably the result of children and the elderly accidentally relieving themselves in the water. He said this happened at every pool, but he suspected some people might do it on purpose. Gordon Tam Yook-bun, a leisure department spokesman, said that when faeces were spotted, lifeguards would collect it with a net and tell swimmers to leave. They would then disinfect the water with chlorine before reopening the pool. Mr Tam did not verify if there were fewer lifeguards at Kowloon Park, saying only that there were 2 per cent more lifeguards in all public pools compared with last year. People who contaminate water can be issued with a summons, but identifying them can be difficult, Mr Tam said. 'Everyone wears a swimsuit in the pool, so it might be difficult to tell who did it.'