Swimmers fined for contaminating Tai O ‘infinity pool’

It seems like only yesterday when people were posting incessant photographs of a beautiful so-called “infinity pool” nestled amongst the green hills of Lantau. It’s known under many different names – Tai O infinity pool, Man Cheung Po, Prime Selfie Spot… but the “natural infinity pool” isn’t actually a swimming pool, or even natural. It’s a man-made catchment for the local water supply in Tai O. 

The catchment became a huge hotspot last year, with hundreds flocking there every day to marvel at the tranquil scenery and clean water. And while a wise man once said “purity that demands exclusion isn’t real purity”, that doesn’t really apply to drinking water, no matter what Ng Leung-wing thinks.

Unsurprisingly, hordes of sweaty, suncreamed tourists paddling around in public drinking water caught the attention of the Water Supplies Department, and earlier this year we reported that the “infinity pool” would be guarded in the future to prevent contamination.

But shockingly, it appears there are some people who still don’t read Coconuts HK, because 10 people were arrested in May for sneaking in for a quick swim. Five of the arrestees had pleaded guilty at the Eastern Magistry earlier this year and were fined HKD500.

The other five were tried at Tsuen Wan Magistrate’s Court today and found guilty of violating the Waterworks Ordinance, resulting in a HKD1000 fine each. Seems like the first five had the better idea. 

A spokesman for the Water Supplies Department told on.cc that catchments and reservoirs are public property, and that members of the public should be mindful of their responsibility to keep them clean. The WSD spokesman also added that they are susceptible to dangerous flash floods, and are therefore unsuitable for recreational swimming. 

According to the Waterworks Ordinance, bathing in catchments and reservoirs is an offence punishable on summary conviction. The maximum punishment is a HKD50,000 fine and a two year jail term. Swim safely, folks.

Photo: Alexandra Andersson

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