GBA rule of law action plan released

Pools to be better monitored

The Food & Environmental Hygiene Department today said it has accepted all the recommendations set out in the Ombudsman’s investigative report on the regulation of licensed swimming pools and has gradually implemented improvement measures.

In a press statement, the department outlined these measures, which include improving health inspectors’ record-keeping and updating the guidelines on the handling of pollution sources in swimming pool water.

The department has revised the inspection record form to delineate inspection items more clearly. It said that this has enhanced the quality of inspections and allows licensees to better understand inspection results.

It is also enhancing the Licensing Management Information System to electronically record inspection results for licensed swimming pools and allow for more photographs to be included in the records. Relevant information and records will in future be transferred directly to the system for prompt analysis, with a view to improving efficiency.

To enhance monitoring by swimming pool users, the department imposed an additional licensing condition in October 2022. Licensees are required to display – conspicuously, at pool entrances – information about the number of life-saving attendants on duty during opening hours.

On pool water quality, the department said it is drawing reference from practices in public swimming pools and updating its guidelines on the handling of pollution sources in swimming pool water. The work is expected to be completed in the second quarter of this year.

To further protect swimmers, the department will also issue letters to licensees before the swimming season to encourage enhancement of life-saving, first aid and resuscitation equipment as necessary.