Hongkongers are fed up with poop in public swimming pools

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

One political party is calling on the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) to improve water quality in the city’s swimming pools, after swimmers’ complaints that there’s regularly poop in the water.

The Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB) interviewed 1,238 swimmers at public pools in July. The survey found that just 35.3 percent are satisfied with the water quality in pools, down from 41.1 percent last year.

LCSD, which oversees the city’s public pools, received 86 complaints about pool water quality in 2017. Most of them had to do with contaminants, like poop and vomit, in the water. Other people reported experiencing skin or eye irritation after swimming.

In a press conference on Tuesday, lawmakers from the DAB — which has been on somewhat of a survey tear lately — criticized the LCSD for failing to do more.

“We’ve asked the LCSD in the past to filter urine in the water, but they refuse to do it,” lawmaker Vincent Cheng Wing-shun said. “The LSCD replied that they are following the standards from the World Health Organization, so they don’t think it is necessary to take further action.”

Coconuts HK has reached out to the department for comment.

Cheng, who said he swims at his local public pool once a week, added that he frequently hears complaints from fellow swimmers. “People at the pool tell me that the water always seems dirty, that it smells bad,” he said.

The news comes a month after a public swimming pool in Tuen Mun had to temporarily close for cleaning after someone discovered vomit in the pool. And then, there was the serial pooper at the pool in Tseung Kwan O a few years ago.

Maybe the one thing everyone can agree on is that the cleaning staff at Hong Kong’s public pools deserve a standing ovation. Oh, and that no one should poop in pools.

Other complaints, Cheng said on Tuesday, included overcrowding at pools, and pools temporarily closing without advanced notice.

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