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Water stations still inactive over arsenic contamination

Update: July, 11/2014 - 08:20
Residents in My Dinh Ward protested against water contaminated with arsenic in 2012. Now, two years later, they still have to use contaminated water. — Photo PetroTimes

HA NOI (VNS) — Ha Noi authorities have asked the My Dinh 2 water supply station to extend a halt to operations due to excessive amounts of arsenic in the water, calling for immediate action to resolve the contamination.

The station's water recorded alarmingly high levels of arsenic, four times the legal limit, during recent inspections by the health ministry. The station was temporarily suspended last week to allow for corrective action.

However, after the station took measures to remove the traces of arsenic, test results showed contamination levels were still double the required limit.

Deputy Director of the municipal Department of Health Hoang Duc Hanh said the station would not resume operations unless safe water could be provided.

Experts from the Ha Noi Department of Health's Preventive Medicine Centre said the excess had been caused by geological factors.

Exposure to arsenic can be damaging to the human circulatory and nervous system. Arsenic poisoning can lead to baldness, nausea, amnesia, weight loss and cancer, health experts say.

Nguyen Thanh Trung, Vice Chairman of the People's Committee of My Dinh 2 Ward in the Cau Giay District where the station is located, said local authorities warned local residents not to use contaminated water and asked the station to produce a temporary safe water supply to maintain people's daily activities.

The Viet Nam Water Company was temporarily supplying safe water from the Da river for local residents but could not meet demand, he said.

Nguyen Thu Ha, a local resident in the My Dinh 2 residential area, expressed concern about the station's water quality and said her family had been forced to ration their use of uncontaminated water.

She also said that she expected the city would soon implement measures to provide enough safe water for residents in the area.

Deputy Chairwoman of the Ha Noi People's Committee, Nguyen Thi Bich Ngoc, has asked the Department of Construction to set up a plan to supply water to 5,000 households that have used water from the My Dinh 2 Station. — VNS

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