All swimming pools, water fountains must be disinfected and tested before reopening in phase 2: NEA

During the circuit breaker period, swimming pools and water fountains were closed and treated at a reduced frequency of once every two weeks.
During the circuit breaker period, swimming pools and water fountains were closed and treated at a reduced frequency of once every two weeks.ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

SINGAPORE - All swimming pools and water fountains must be thoroughly cleaned, disinfected and tested to make sure water samples meet regulated limits before reopening to the public, the National Environment Agency (NEA) said on Wednesday (June 17).

The NEA's reminder to owners and operators of such facilities comes as Singapore prepares to enter the second phase of its reopening on Friday after the circuit breaker period.

"The failure to (clean and disinfect) could result in the spread of waterborne diseases and pose a public health risk," the NEA said.

Sports facilities, parks and malls are among the public spaces due to reopen during phase two with safe distancing measures in place.

During the circuit breaker period, swimming pools and water fountains were closed and treated at a reduced frequency of once every two weeks, while laboratory tests of water samples for bacteria levels were not required.

These tests, which are done by laboratories accredited by the Singapore Accreditation Council, must now be cleared before swimming pools and water fountains can reopen.

Pools with aerosol-generating features are also advised to include tests for bacteria that cause Legionnaire's disease, a form of pneumonia which can be transmitted via contaminated water, aerosol or mist.

The NEA directed owners and operators of swimming pools and water fountains to its April 5 guidelines for other necessary steps to take before reopening.

The steps include brushing all surfaces of the swimming pool to remove as much algae as possible, and intensifying the chlorinating of the water through the pool filtration system.

 
 

"(We) will continue to carry out checks on the water quality of swimming pools and water fountains, (and) will not hesitate to take enforcement action for any contravention of the regulations," the NEA said.

Building owners, management corporations and town councils were also required to continue proper maintenance of all water storage tanks and water pumps during the circuit breaker period.

Among the measures they had to observe were reducing the amount of water stored in the tanks, draining and refilling tanks and pipes with fresh water, flushing taps periodically, and turning on taps not used for more than a week for five to 10 minutes before use.