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High Grade Water Ready to Sweep Shanghai
Residents will have their thirst quenched with high quality water that matches the city's growing status as a world-class metropolis after the Shanghai Water Authority (SWA) vowed to assist the improvement following the 11th annual World Water Day on Saturday.

"The current quality of tap water in the city meets the national standard; but compared with that of the European Union and the United States, there is still room for improvement," said SWA Director General Zhang Jiayi.

SWA will tighten its control over the entire water process to secure water quality as a focus for 2003 in an effort to improve people's health and refine the city's image.

Raw water taken from the Huangpu River will undergo extensive biological pre-treatment to reduce the content of organic substance found in the water.

This new engineering initiative is to be completed in the raw water factory in the first half of this year, Zhang said.

Major water works that draw raw water from the Huangpu River should install further treatment engineering facilities to also improve the colour, texture, ammonia and nitrogen content before 2010, a move which will vastly improve water taste.

The additional treatment is expected to cost 4 billion yuan (US$484 million), a factor which could have a future influence on the city's water price, according to Chen Yin, SWA's deputy director general.

Specific measures to improve the quality of water works that draw raw water from the Yangtze River are being studied at the same time.

Chen said the refurbishment of water supply pipes is the key to ensuring water quality, preventing water leakage and guaranteeing water safety.

At present, aged pipes are mostly to blame for contaminating water quality.

Over the next three years, 377.5 kilometers of pipes without lining will be fitted with lining to prevent pollution during the transfer of water while 863.24 kilometers of pipes which have leaking problems will be renovated.

SWA has also started the eight-year-long renovation of water supply facilities, including the 14,486-kilometre-long indoor pipes, 107,390 water cabins on top of buildings and 6,294 underground water pools which connect families with water companies.

(China Daily March 24, 2003)

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