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Old July 26th, 2009, 11:36 PM
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Arrow Ha Noi rivers, lakes to get $56 mil clean-up

The municipal authority has planned to spend VND1 trillion (US$56.5 million) from the State's budget to alleviate the severe pollution the city's rivers, lakes and ponds are facing.

Ha Noi's surface water quality is severely polluted, since only 7 per cent of the city's domestic waste water has been properly treated before being discharged, according to the latest report by the municipal Department of Natural Resources and Environment.

The report said there were only five stations in the inner Ha Noi treating a mere 50,000 cu.m out of the approximately 700,000 cu.m of domestic waste water discharged every day.

Thousands affected

Deputy head of the department Pham Van Khanh said untreated waste water was critically damaging and polluting all local rivers, lakes and ponds in the area.

"The 76km Nhue River is so polluted it cannot even serve for agricultural production. Some parts of it stink, and the pollution affects the health of thousands of people residing in eight districts along the river, he said.

Four other waterways in inner Ha Noi, namely To Lich, Day, Lu and Set, which serve as the capital's main water drainage systems, along with most lakes also had alarming pollution levels, said Khanh.

Some lakes near the dense residential areas such as Dong Da, Giang Vo, Thanh Cong and Thanh Nhan contain coliform bacteria, whose presence is an indicator that other pathogenic organisms of fecal origin may also be present. Fecal pathogens include bacteria, viruses, or protozoa and many multicellular parasites, which can cause digestive diseases. In the lakes, levels of coliform are 100 to 200 times higher than the allowance level, and up to 700 times in the dry season.

"If the level of coliform is not dealt with now, it will get worse in the very near future," said Khanh. "Initially, we have selected waste water going into the To Lich and Nhue rivers to be treated and the quality improved" said head of the department Vu Van Hau.

"We will strive to sort out the pollution at the 33 lakes in the inner city by dredging and building more waste water treatment stations with larger capacity along the Nhue River and at the To Lich River's riverhead," he said.

"By the end of 2010, at least 10-15 per cent of the domestic wastewater will have been treated."

Hau said a regulation was being discussed which would manage waste water from industrial activities and hospitals, setting up time frames for completing wastewater treatment systems and establish rates of fines for violators.

Only five out of the city's 116 industrial zones and parks and eight out of 48 hospitals in the city had proper treatment systems, said Hau.

Additionally, waste water from the 1,310 craft villages across the capital was directly discharged without treatment, he said.

VietNamNet/Viet Nam News

Drainage and Wastewater collection system in Hanoi :
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