|Scientists and managers visit a waste water treatment facility at the HCM City-based Hospital for Children No 2. The city has been urged to issue policies to encourage private investment in recycling wastewater. — VNA/VNS Photo Phuong Vy
HCM CITY (VNS) — Municipal authorities need to issue policies encouraging private investment in recycling waste water as a move to protect the environment as well as the city's fresh water resources, experts say.
They warn that the city would have to pay a high price if urgent action is not taken to protect its precious natural resources.
According to the municipal Department of Natural Resources and Environment, the city releases about 500,000cu.m of industrial waste water and 1.2 million cu.m of waste water from households and other sources a day.
The untreated waste water is released directly into rivers and canals, badly polluting the environment.
Speaking at a seminar held recently, associate professor Nguyen Phuoc Dan of the HCM City University of Technology said the potential for recycling the city's waste water for reuse is very large.
The recycled waste water can be used for washing streets, irrigating parks and street-side trees and gardens, flushing the toilet, washing clothes and other purposes, he said.
Recycled waste water should be promoted as a very useful product, he said.
If the city can recycle about 1 million cu.m of waste water a day, it can save about VND10 billion (US$476,000) a day, participants said at the seminar.
They said the city can also reduce its dependency on water from the Tri An and Dau Tieng reservoirs and reduce ground water pollution.
The city now uses fresh water from the Dong Nai and Sai Gon rivers, Tri An and Dau Tieng reservoirs, rainwater and groundwater.
The exploitation of fresh water from the Dong Nai River and Tri An Reservoir for use in HCM City has increased from 33 cu.m per second to 51 cu.m per second over the past 10 years, according to the city's Water and Environment Technology Association.
During this period, the exploitation of fresh water from the Sai Gon River and Dau Tieng Reservoir has also increased from 21 cu.m to 33 cu.m per second.
The city's demand for clean water will continue increasing in the future because of its steadily increasing population, experts noted at the seminar.
At the seminar, experts said they have drafted four sets of criteria for recycled waste water for different uses including landscaping, industrial production, construction and daily urban use.
It was organised by the Water and Environment Technology Association and the HCM City University of Technolog. —VNS