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Ha Noi to verify reports about water pollution

Update: September, 29/2015 - 14:24

Some rivers and lakes in Ha Noi are severely polluted. — Photo

HA NOI — Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai recently asked the Ha Noi People's Committee to verify media reports about the severe pollution of some rivers and lakes in the capital.

Over the last few months, several media sources reported that some rivers and lakes were severely polluted, particularly in the dry season when the water supply was low. The pollution has a bad impact on agricultural work and people's lives.

The media reports specifically mentioned several rivers such as the Nhue, Cau Bay and La Khe as being severely polluted, mostly due to untreated wastewater being discharged into them by handicraft villages and abattoirs.

Hai said the People's Committee should penalise the enterprises that violated environment protection rules, and should think of solutions to deal with the water pollution.

In March, Viet Nam's Construction University and Tokyo University announced the results of a research project entitled "Development of sustainable urban water use to adapt to climate change."

The results show that Ha Noi's river waters are polluted by 10 per cent of untreated urban wastewater. Thirty six per cent of untreated water also pollute the city's lakes.

The project's results show that people in Ha Noi mainly use groundwater for their daily activities.

However, scientists have listed several districts in Ha Noi as areas having groundwater contaminated with arsenic.

Scientists say water contaminated with arsenic can cause skin diseases such as pigmentation changes, skin darkening, thickening, or skin cancer.

More recently, Dr Le Van Cat from the Viet Nam Chemistry Institute said the situation was the worst in Ha Noi, when naming provinces and cities that are most seriously affected by arsenic contamination.

He said arsenic concentration was several times higher than the permitted level in many areas.

 The project's results also show that the quality of water of the Hong (Red), Duong and Day Rivers is declining and difficult to control. Meanwhile several local wastewater treatment plants are not working efficiently. — VNS

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