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Hong Kong Government urged to improve water quality monitoring in public pools

Hong Kong Government urged to improve water quality monitoring in public pools
August 4, 2016

Water quality monitoring in Hong Kong’s swimming pools has become a political issue with the opposition party in China’s Special Administrative Region collecting water samples showing chlorine levels below government standards and a possible carcinogen.

The Democratic Party, which conducted the pool tests, has called for more stringent monitoring of the quality of the city’s swimming pool water after chlorine levels in several samples collected from Hong Kong’s 12 public pools were found to be below government standards.

The Democratic Party also said Hong Kong’s Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) should test for a possible carcinogen in regular monitoring of pool water quality after two samples were found to contain the substance in excess of European standards.

Among the 16 water samples collected between 7th and 10th June, five, including those from Kowloon Park and Ho Man Tin, were found to contain chlorine below the standard set by the government.

Another sample from Kowloon Tsai was found to contain chlorine higher than the government requirement.

Democratic Party spokesperson Helena Wong Pik-wan stated “if there isn’t enough chlorine, bacteria will grow when more people are using the pool.”

Meanwhile, two of the three samples tested for possible carcinogen Trihalomethanes (THMs) - which is not tested by LCSD - were found to contain the substance in excess of German and Swiss standards.

THMs are produced when chlorine reacts with organic substances from swimmers, such as sweat, sunscreen and cosmetics.

Wong added “the Department should include THMs in its surveillance for swimming pool water quality and set standards.”

Wong also called for LCSD to remind swimmers to shower to wash away sweat and sunscreen before entering a pool.

A LCSD spokesman said THMs were not one of the regulated chemicals in swimming pools as set by the World Health Organisation.

The spokesman added that pool water is collected once every hour for testing, including for chlorine.

Image: Kowloon Park Swimming Pool.

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Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

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