SHANGHAI: Water supply to more than 200,000 people in Shuyang County, Jiangsu
Province, resumed yesterday after a 40-hour shutdown.
The shutdown was caused by severe pollution to the Xinyi River.
The Shuyang Water Company resumed supply at 10:45 am yesterday after sample
tests proved that water from the Xinyi River and at the plant met standard
requirements, according to a county government employee who declined to be
He said water was channeled from nearby Hongze Lake to dilute the polluted
"The water plant started pumping this morning after tests found that dilution
had effectively lowered the ammonia and azote content," he said.
He said pollution of the Xinyi was not caused by local factories, but by
those situated in the upper reaches of the river that originates in Shandong
Water in the county became yellowish and smelly on Monday afternoon and
supply was cut off to residents at 3pm that day, the Xinhua News Agency said.
Li Jinping, a resident, said the water was smelly. Tests revealed the content
of ammonia and azota was three times over the limit for potable water.
Yang Wei, an official with the environment protection department of Jiangsu
Province, said they were still investigating the source of the pollutants.
"It could be factories in Xuzhou or the Shandong side of the Xinyi River," he
Shuyang had been supplying the county with water from 33 unpolluted wells in
the past two days.
According to an employee of the Shuyang Water Company, surnamed Zhong, well
water could not be pumped beyond the second floor of buildings.
"Residents of high-rise buildings had to go down to the streets to collect
water," she said.
This was the second time the province has been hit by pollution.
On May 29, water in Wuxi began to smell because of blue-green algae that
engulfed Taihu Lake. Half of its 2.3 million population was affected.
Bottled water in stores ran out of stock and residents had rush to nearby
cities to buy water.
A relatively warm winter and industrial waste, was blamed for the algae.
Water supply was restored a week later.
Pan Yue, deputy chief of the State Environmental Protection Administration,
said on Tuesday some officials who worked with local businesses to seek profits,
had ignored damage to the environment and resources.
"Unless these officials are punished, we will not see improvements," he said.
"These officials will not be intimidated unless environmental issues are
included in their performance record."
(China Daily 07/05/2007 page3)