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Pollution contaminates Hai Phong waterways

Update: September, 29/2014 - 08:39
Test results also revealed that 14 per cent of 36 samples from Re River was seriously contaminated, with ammonia and other heavy metals detected to be between 3.8 to 9.9 times higher than the maximum limit.— Photo vea.gov.vn

HAI PHONG (VNS) — Pollution is severely affecting the rivers of Da Do, Re and Gia, the main source of water for irrigation and other activities of residents and businesses in this northern city.

Recent tests of the city's Department of Natural Resources and Environment detected water contamination in all three rivers that help irrigate hundreds of thousands of hectares of agricultural land and provide potable water to hundreds of water supply plants in the city. The rivers' total water capacity is estimated to be around 40 million cubic metres. Test results revealed that 10 per cent of 30 samples from Da Do River was seriously contaminated, and only 47 per cent of these could be made safe for residents' use. Pollution has been traced to wastes discharged from 120 industrial establishments, 50 craft villages and 60 health clinics and hospitals.

Nguyen Van Chon, director of the Da Do Irrigation Work Company which manages the river, said the river was seriously contaminated and its water quality was severely reduced. He revealed that the company was finding it difficult to deal with the situation because of an overlap in related regulations and the incomplete planning for the city's industrial facilities, businesses and households.

Test results also revealed that 14 per cent of 36 samples from Re River was seriously contaminated, with ammonia and other heavy metals detected to be between 3.8 to 9.9 times higher than the maximum limit.

The city People's Committee attributed pollution in all rivers, canals and other waterways in the city to the direct discharge of waste from households and shipbuilding or mineral processing zones.

The use of plant protection chemicals in agricultural production and waste from hospitals and health clinics also contributed to the contamination, said the committee.

Hai Phong is located in the lower part of the rivers of Hong (Red) River and Thai Binh, and this has worsened the problem, since waste from these rivers' upper reaches were being carried down to the city.

Do Trung Thoai, vice chairman of the city People's Committee, also blamed the low level of awareness of city residents and businesses for the situation.

Thoai pointed out the need to raise public awareness, particularly among city residents and businesses, of the value of water resources and the need to preserve them.

The city would be applying a water management model with the help of residents and tighten management over factors causing river pollution, as well as the exploitation and use of water, he said. — VNS

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