Beijing has become the first city in China to meet the required safety
standards of potable water.
The Beijing municipal water authority said water in the capital had passed
all 106 tests for contaminants as required by new national standards that took
effect on Sunday.
"Beijing met the standards at the end of last year," Yu Yaping, official with
the water authority told China Daily yesterday. "As industry insiders, we
received the standards a long time ago. We immediately took action to improve
the capital's drinking water quality," Yu said.
Fan Kangping, director of the water quality center of Beijing Waterworks
Group, said the city's water had been potable since 2003.
"The Ministry of Construction, as one of our administrative authorities,
issued water quality regulations consisting of 101 standards many years ago,"
However, complaints have been received from people about the metallic taste
of the water and its unpleasant smell in the south part of the city.
"That is the result of secondary pollution," Yu said.
"Old tap water pipes are responsible for the bad taste."
It is estimated 7,000 km of underground pipes transport water to 16 million
Some pipes were laid 50 to 60 years ago, according to a source close to the
"We have a dilemma. The water piped out is clean and safe but gets
contaminated before it reaches users," Fan said.
The Beijing Waterworks Group supplies about 600 to 700 million cubic meters
of drinking water every year.
(China Daily 07/03/2007 page4)