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Major reservoir at risk of pollution

Update: July, 14/2017 - 09:00
Đá Đen reservoir, which supplies water to 90 per cent of the people in Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu Province. — Photo
Viet Nam News

BÀ RỊA-VŨNG TÀU — Đá Đen Reservoir, which supplies water to 90 per cent of the people in Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu Province, is at risk of being severely polluted.

Many local residents in Châu Đức and Tân Thành districts bordering the reservoir are worried that the waste water treatment plant in neighbouring Đồng Nai Province will affect the reservoir water, the Lao Động (Labour) newspaper reported on Thursday.

Residents have repeatedly complained to provincial authorities of the strange water colour as well as stench from Sông Xoài and Chà Răng streams – the arms of the Đá Đen reservoir.

According to local authorities, the location of the plant is upstream of the reservoir. If Chà Răng stream, about 20km from the reservoir, is polluted by waste water from the Đồng Nai Province plant, the Đá Đen reservoir will be severely affected, particularly in the rainy season.

In May, the People’s Committee of Châu Đức District reported the incident to provincial authorities and asked them to provide a response. Recently, the People’s Committee of Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu Province directed relevant agencies to co-ordinate with Đồng Nai Province to survey the area and draw up plans to protect the reservoir.

The hazardous waste incinerator with a capacity of 24 tonnes per day was put into use in 2014 but some construction has not been completed. A 2,000sq.m solid waste burial site is full.

The plant’s construction, including the solid waste burial site, the leaking waste water treatment system and waste water reservoirs have not yet been inspected by the Vietnam Environment Administration and granted a certificate of completion.

According to the investor’s environmental impact report, the plant’s treated waste water is discharged into the drainage system before flowing to streams and then to Cầu Mới Lake in Đồng Nai Province.

But in fact, the survey revealed that the plant’s waste water is discharged directly into Chà Răng Stream in Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu Province, the newspaper reported.

Water being tested

In order to avoid the risk of contamination to Đá Đen Reservoir, the People’s Committee of Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu Province has proposed the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment to review the report and ask investors to ensure environmental safety.

The committee also required the investor to stop the current waste burial and remove all buried waste for burning.

Nguyễn Văn Nở, an official of Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu Water Supply Joint Stock Company, said that since hearing reports from local residents, the company and relevant units of the two provinces took water samples for testing every month to analyse the water quality.

At present, the water in reservoir was still safe, Nở said.

"However, it is necessary to take measures to prevent and avoid the risk of contamination of the whole province’s water resource," he said.

Director of the Đồng Nai Province’s Department of Natural Resources and Environment Đặng Minh Đức said the two provinces worked together and also affirmed that there was no environmental impact at present. However, they will come up with specific solutions to deal with the risk of future pollution, he said. — VNS

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