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China to Issue New Standards for Drinking Water
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China will soon promulgate a new set of national compulsory standards on drinking water quality, a senior official from the Ministry of Construction said Tuesday.

The new standards represent the first revision of China's current standards issued in 1985, before rapid industrialization left most of the country's water bodies in pollution.

Zhang Yue, deputy head of the ministry's urban construction department, told Xinhua that the new standards requires tests on over 100 water quality indices, far more than the current 35 indices.

The new indices mainly have to do with organic pollutants and other harmful substances in the water as a result of industrial pollution, he said.

According to Zhang, the new standards are on a par with that of moderately-developed countries.

Work on the new standards is being coordinated by the Standardization Administration of China and involves the Ministry of Construction and the Ministry of Health, in response to rising public call for the revision of the outdated standards.

The Ministry of Health published the draft version of the new standards on May 19 to solicit public opinions.

(Xinhua News Agency July 19, 2006)

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