HA NOI (VNS)— Most of the water samples taken from plants that supply Ha Noi are of acceptable quality, an inspection by the Ministry of Health has found.
Inspection results released at a workshop on Wednesday said the water samples matched "physical and micro-organism norms."
Inspectors had collected more than 190 samples from 16 potable water plants and seven water supply stations in the city.
However, in seven out of the 23 water plants, located in Hoang Mai District, the samples failed to meet one to three criteria on chemical contamination.
The amount of ammonium nitrate and pecmanganate were higher than allowed levels in these samples.
The amount of arsenic in water samples taken from the My Dinh 2 water supply station was 1.82 times the allowed level.
Experts from the Ha Noi Department of Health's Preventive Medicine Centre said the excess was caused by geological factors.
Speaking at the workshop, Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long praised efforts taken to ensure the quality of potable water.
He also asked the municipal People's Committee to strengthen its supervision of water quality, saying the Health Ministry would not be able to carry out regular checks.
In particular, municipal authorities should improve the quality of water pipelines because they are considered the main culprits for poor quality water being supplied to households, he said.
Long asked the Ha Noi People's Committee to temporarily suspend the My Dinh 2 water supply station because of the excessive amounts of arsenic. He said the station should take corrective steps before it can resume operations.
Arsenic can affect people's circulatory and nervous system. Those who have suffer arsenic poisoning can suffer from baldness, nausea, amnesia, loss of weight and cancer, health experts say.
Deputy Chairwoman of the Ha Noi People's Committee, Nguyen Thi Bich Ngoc, asked the Department of Construction to set up a plan to supply potable water to 5,000 households that have used water from the My Dinh 2 station. This must be done immediately, she added.
Ngoc suggested the Health Ministry supports the city with necessary equipment and training courses for workers to better supervise water quality.
She also proposed that the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development act together in protecting the Hong (Red) and Day rivers and ensuring sufficient supply for irrigation and residents' daily use. — VNS