Forum: Timely clarification from NEA on pool maintenance

I applaud the National Environment Agency (NEA) for promptly clarifying its guidelines on the maintenance of swimming pools (Closed pools in condo turn green due to halt in maintenance, May 1).

The NEA has averted a possible public health problem. We certainly cannot allow this to happen even in times of crisis.

The cost of repairing damaged pool pumps and filtration systems would also have been a huge expense for condominium managements and private pool owners.

In one instance, Sims Urban Oasis condo stopped the maintenance of its pools on April 6, in keeping with the circuit breaker measures that started the next day.

About a week later, the pools, which usually appear blue, had turned emerald green due to algae forming at their base.

The condo management then got permission from the NEA for the pools to be cleaned.

There are dangers that can arise from stagnant water in swimming pools. The pools can become breeding grounds for algae, bacteria and mosquitoes.

The danger of dengue is a particularly pressing concern, especially with an increase in cases in recent months.

In the current Covid-19 crisis, if a person is infected with the disease as well as dengue, it may rapidly become fatal.

I am glad that the NEA has given further details on the types of swimming pool maintenance activities that are allowed during the circuit breaker period.

Ho Ting Fei (Dr)