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Xi'an Tackles Water Pollution Issues

This capital city of northwest China's Shaanxi Province is taking effective measures to better protect and improve its environment both for local residents and tourists.

As part of the effort, local government decided to install special equipment to monitor and control those enterprises which make water-polluting materials during their production, according to Gao Xian, director of the Xi'an Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau.

The project, named Network for Monitor and Control Pollution Sources, will begin in September, and will make it easier for environmental protection officials to monitor factories online that drain polluted water into rivers, Gao said.

"We put water monitors which can keep watch and check out water at factory drain pipes and the black boxes are linked with computers in environmental protection offices at our bureau," the director said.

The monitors keep watch around the clock, Gao said.

At present, Xi'an has 79 factories which produce pollutants during production and drain into rivers.

"These factories are being ordered to treat their waste water properly before discharging. The water monitors will be installed in these factories beginning in September," the director said.

Other measures, such as installing special electricity meters used for wastewater treatment equipment and checking for additives used for wastewater treatment, will also be adopted to see if factories are treating waste water properly, Gao said.

The local government has decided to close 34 paper-making factories before September since they produce a large amount of polluted water, Gao said.

The effort is aimed at enhancing the control of polluted water draining into the rivers around the city and improving the quality of the surface water, the director said.

From June to November, the local government is making an environmental protection drive to rectify the polluting enterprises, Gao said.

The drive will focus on water pollution made by the industries of paper-making, printing and dyeing and electroplating in the Weihe River Valley in which Xi'an is located, the director said.

And it also focuses on the pollution and ecological damage made by mineral resources developers, and the pollution of radiate resources during use, transportation, storage and dealing, the director said.

"Local government pays great attention to protecting the environment of urban water resources, ecological and tourism zones in order to provide better living conditions for our people," Gao said.

(China Daily September 1, 2004)

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