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LCQ16: Outdoor heated swimming pools

     Following is a question by the Dr Hon Helena Wong and a written reply by the Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Tsang Tak-sing, in the Legislative Council today (January 28):


     Some members of the public who frequently use the open-air heated public swimming pools under the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) during winter have relayed to me that swimmers often feel chilly and are susceptible to catching a cold when they leave the pool, as the pool water temperature is much higher than the air temperature. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(1) among the heated swimming pools under LCSD, which ones are fitted and not fitted with warm passages made of windbreak tents connecting directly to the changing rooms (warm passages);

(2) whether it has plans to retrofit warm passages to those open-air heated swimming pools under LCSD which are not yet fitted with such facilities; if it has such plans, when the related works will commence; if not, of the reasons for that; and

(3) whether it will, on the premise of not affecting swimmers' safety, study the placing of fan heaters or other portable heating devices on the pool decks of open-air heated pools so as to reduce the impact on swimmers caused by temperature difference between the pool water and the air; if it will, when it will conduct the study; if not, of the reasons for that?



     My reply to the three parts of the question is as follows:

(1) The Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) manages a total of 43 public swimming pools and 24 of them provide heated swimming facilities, of which eight are outdoor heated swimming pools. Six of these pools, namely those in Lai Chi Kok Park Swimming Pool, Tuen Mun Swimming Pool, Yuen Long Swimming Pool, Fanling Swimming Pool, Sha Tin Jockey Club Swimming Pool and Tseung Kwan O Swimming Pool, have walkways covered and enclosed with windproof materials.  The remaining two heated pools in Wan Chai Swimming Pool and Sham Shui Po Park Swimming Pool respectively have not been fitted with such a walkway.

(2) Wan Chai Swimming Pool will be redeveloped into an indoor swimming pool complex. The redevelopment works have already started and are expected to be completed in 2016. For Sham Shui Po Park Swimming Pool, LCSD will consider the usage rate of the swimming pool and examine in conjunction with relevant departments the feasibility of and the cost involved in enclosing the walkway connecting the changing rooms to the pool with windproof materials.

(3) LCSD provides heating devices at appropriate locations at swimming pool complexes, e.g., in changing rooms. As regards the installation of fan heaters or other portable heating devices on the decks of outdoor heated pools, we need to take into account factors such as electrical and mechanical safety, environmental friendliness and cost-effectiveness. LCSD will continue to monitor the usage rates of outdoor heated pools and further consider this issue.

Ends/Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Issued at HKT 11:06


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