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VietNamNews

Viet Nam faces river pollution

Update: December, 28/2013 - 12:00

Viet Nam is facing pollution problems similar to many other countries in the world.

Waste from homes as well as factories is making its way into the rivers.

This is changing rivers from being places known for beautiful, clean water into places where there is pollution.

Authorities need to act quickly before things get worse.

Volunteers from HCM City - based universities collected garbage at Sai Gon River section through the city's District 7. The river has become seriously polluted due to household and industrial wastewater in the city and Binh Duong Province.
Volunteers from HCM City - based universities collected garbage at Sai Gon River section through the city's District 7. The river has become seriously polluted due to household and industrial wastewater in the city and Binh Duong Province. - VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Vu

HCM CITY (VNS)— Long-term planning is needed to cope with worsening pollution in the Sai Gon and Dong Nai rivers, experts have warned.

The Sai Gon and Dong Nai rivers in HCM City have become more and more polluted due to increasing levels of household and industrial waste water.

Hundreds of tonnes of household waste and industrial waste from factories and industrial parks in HCM City and Binh Duong Province are discharged into the rivers every day, according to the Institute of Natural Resources and Environment.

In the 2011-12 period, the dissolved oxygen (DO) content in the Sai Gon River was extremely low while the content of ammonia, manganese, micro-organisms and suspended solids was higher, indicating a high level of pollution, said the institute.

Only 20 per cent of household wastewater had been treated before being discharged into the rivers, it added.

In 2010, in HCM City alone, the volume of household waste water reached nearly 1.20 million cubic metres per day.

In addition, around 50 industrial parks in the city discharge about 104,129 cubic metres of industrial waste water every day.

Wastewater from hospitals reaches 10,142 cubic metres per day, and waste water from the breeding sector, 950,059 cubic metres per day.

The pollution of these rivers has posed a threat to millions of residents in HCM City as this is a source of tap water for the residents.

The HCM City-based Tan Hiep water supply company has a capacity of 300,000 cubic metres per day, and the Binh Duong-based Thu Dau Mot water company supplies 30,000 cubic metres per day, both of which process water from the river.

However, tests from the Institute of Natural Resources and Environment have shown that the quality of water of areas near these two water-supply companies does not meet the national standards.

Wastewater from hospitals is discharged directly into the river through city drains.

Solutions

Nguyen Van Phuoc, chief of the Institute of Natural Resources and Environment, said drastic measures should be carried out at once to protect the water quality of the Sai Gon and Dong Nai rivers.

To reduce the pollution of the rivers, experts have recommended that affected provinces divide the river into zones to receive waste water.

Any companies or sectors that have a high risk of causing river pollution should not be granted operation licences in areas that supply tap water for residents.

Experts have also recommended that the city build a new urban sewage system and an underground-water observation system.

City authorities must ensure that all wastewater from companies at industrial parks as well as from hospitals must be treated before being discharged into the rivers, they said.

Nguyen Ngoc Anh of the HCM City Irrigation Association said that protecting the Sai Gon River was not enough, and that the city should also protect the entire system of the Dong Nai River basin.

Anh suggested that priority be given to areas that supply tap water for residents in HCM City and Binh Duong Province.

The city also needs to protect land along rivers where residents build makeshift homes and other structures. The riverbanks are often packed with rubbish, according to Anh. — VNS

GLOSSARY

Hundreds of tonnes of household waste and industrial waste from factories and industrial parks in HCM City and Binh Duong Province are discharged into the rivers every day, according to the Institute of Natural Resources and Environment.

When something is discharged, it is allowed to flow out of a place where it has been kept. In this case, waste is let of out factories and homes and flows into rivers.

In the 2011-12 period, the dissolved oxygen (DO) content in the Sai Gon River was extremely low while the content of ammonia, manganese, micro-organisms and suspended solids was higher, indicating a high level of pollution, said the institute.

When something is dissolved it becomes mixed in with a liquid.

 

Ammonia is a colourless gas with a powerful smell. It can dissolve in water.

Manganese is a chemical element and is often part of special steels.

Suspended solids are solid things that mix with liquid but instead of dissolving, remain whole in the water.

Micro-organisms are very small living things.

In 2010, in HCM City alone, the volume of household waste water reached nearly 1.20 million cubic metres per day.

The volume of household waste is the amount of space it takes up.

In addition, around 50 industrial parks in the city discharge about 104,129 cubic metres of industrial waste water every day.

Volume is measured in cubic metres. That is metres to the power of three.

The pollution of these rivers has posed a threat to millions of residents in HCM City as this is a source of tap water for the residents.

The source of tap water is the place where tap water originally comes from. It may be a dam, a lake, a river or a reservoir – wherever it is piped from.

The HCM City-based Tan Hiep water supply company has a capacity of 300,000 cubic metres per day, and the Binh Duong-based Thu Dau Mot water company supplies 30,000 cubic metres per day, both of which process water from the river.

The amount of usable water that the water supply company can produce is its capacity.

A process is a series of steps taken in order to produce something.

Any companies or sectors that have a high risk of causing river pollution should not be granted operation licences in areas that supply tap water for residents.

Companies often need permission to do what they do. For this, they need special permission which may come in the form of an operating licence.

Experts have also recommended that the city build a new urban sewage system and an underground-water observation system.

An urban sewage system is the system that carries sewage from toilets to purification plants and out into the river systems.

Observation means watching. An underground-water observation system would be a system that makes it possible for officials to be able to look at the quality of underground water.

The city also needs to protect land along rivers where residents build makeshift homes and other structures.

Makeshift homes are houses that are very quickly put up, often using weak materials. An example of a makeshift house is a shack, or a shanty.

WORKSHEET

Find the following missing words in the Word Search:

1.      Volume is measured in _________ metres.

2.      ___________ is a colourless gas with a powerful smell.

3.      The Sai Gon and Dong Nai are names of _____ in Viet Nam.

4.      Wastewater from ________ reaches 10,142 cubic metres per day.

5.      Wastewater from hospitals is discharged directly into the river through city _____

 

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© Duncan Guy/Learn the News/ Viet Nam News 2013



















 1. Cubic; 2. Ammonia; 3. Rivers; 4. Hospitals; 5. Drains.


 

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