Drinking fountains should be phased out: Auditor

The Director of Audit on Wednesday urged the government to quickly replace drinking fountains at its sports grounds to prevent the transmission of Covid-19.

The Auditor said in his latest report that it should replace them with water dispensers for users to fill their bottles.

The report said the drinking fountains – which require users to drink directly from the stream and therefore are at a higher risk of being contaminated – are installed at 17 out of 25 sports grounds managed by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD).

Their use have been suspended since the start of the Covid pandemic at the beginning of 2020, it added.

“In Audit’s view, in light of concerns over bubbler contamination amid the Covid-19 epidemic, LCSD should consider stepping up the replacement of the bubblers in sports grounds by bottle-filling water dispensers as far as practicable,” the report said.

The Auditor added that installing more water dispensers could help reduce the consumption of single-use plastic bottles and cut waste at source.