China Environmental News Digest

Daily updated Environmental news related to China

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Harbin vows to improve water quality of Songhua River

HARBIN, March 7 (Xinhuanet) -- Northeastern China's city of Harbin will step up efforts to improve the water quality of the Songhua River after it suffered serious pollution due to a chemical plant spill upstream last November.

the next five years, Harbin, capital of Heilongjiang Province, will attach greater importance to ensuring safe drinking water supply, building sewage treatment plants, and strictly controlling industrial pollution, the city's 2006-2010 plan for water pollution prevention and treatment of the Songhua River in the city's section said.

2010, main pollutants in water will be reduced by more than 15 percent, and over 90 percent of urban sewage will be treated, according to the plan, which has been approved by the city's government.

achieve the goals, the city will carry out a series of key projects, such as protection of drinking water sources, treatment of key polluters and enhancement of water quality monitoring, according to the plan.

November last year, a chemical spill flowed into the river after a petrochemical plant blast in Jilin Province upstream, causing a five-day cutoff of water supply for Harbin.

survey conducted by the State Environmental Protection Administration in 2004 indicated that one third of the water in the Songhua River was class-five or worse. China classifies water into five quality categories with class one being the best.

this year, China planned to invest 26.6 billion yuan (3.28 billion U.S. dollars) to control the pollution of the Songhua River in the coming five years.

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