Home / Environment / Policies and Announcements Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read | Comment
Water quality information flows to public online
Adjust font size:

Real-time information about the quality of water available from the country's major rivers will now be available online.

The Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) began publishing results of tests on surface water quality at 100 locations yesterday. The information is updated every four hours.

The quality of surface water is not directly linked to tap water, but monitoring rivers and lakes can help ensure the safety of the water supply, especially when contamination accident happens, MEP officials said.

Ma Jun, director of the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs, said publishing real-time monitoring results is "a step forward" for environmental information disclosure in China.

"Publishing air and water quality will help ensure and protect the public's access to environment-related information," said Ma. But he added that the information should be more "user-friendly", for example, how the data is affecting the public.

Five indicators, such as pH level, dissolved oxygen (DO), total organic carbon (TOC), chemical oxygen demand (COD) and ammonia nitrogen, are being used to gauge the water quality of China's seven major rivers and three lakes, as well as tributaries in the southeast and southwest.

Previously, China published COD as a major index for water pollution. Providing additional data will help to give the public a thorough picture of water quality in major rivers, according to MEP. For instance, DO and TOC determine the degree of organic contamination, while ammonia nitrogen, a major chemical compound that boosts the growth of blue-green algae, reflects the industrial and agricultural pollution in a certain area.

In China, tap water is supplied by drinking water sources and filtered at water plants.

During the summer of 2008, monitoring pH level and DO at Taihu Lake in Jiangsu province helped predict the outbreak of blue algae and avoided a crisis similar to the one in Wuxi in 2007, MEP said. In May 2007, the water supply was cut off at the lake-side city, with a population of more than 5 million, after Taihu Lake started to stink with a blue-green algae bloom. Citizens complained that tap water was so tainted and smelly they could not wash with it or drink it.

(China Daily July 2, 2009)

Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read Bookmark and Share
Pet Name

China Archives
Related >>
- 400 sickened by polluted drinking water in Hebei
- Duckweed poses no harm to Shaanxi lake water quality
- Taihu water quality better: Official
- Measures taken to guarantee water quality in Shanghai
- Tap quality: Shanghai targets water
NGO Events Calendar Tips
- The Eco Design Fair 2009
- Environmental English Training (EET) class
- Hand in hand to protect endangered animals and plants
- Changchun, Mini-marathon Aimed at Protecting Siberian Tiger
- Water Walk by Nature University
World Fights A/H1N1 flu
The pandemic fear grips the world as the virus spreads from Mexico to the US, Europe and as far as China.
Panda Facts
A record 28 panda cubs born via artificial insemination have survived in 2006.
South China Karst
Rich and unique karst landforms located in south China display exceptional natural beauty.
Saving the Tibetan Antelopes
The rare animals survive in the harsh natural environment of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.
Laws & Regulations
- Forestry Law of the People's Republic of China
- Meteorology Law of the People's Republic of China
- Fire Control Law of the People's Republic of China
- Law on Protecting Against and Mitigating Earthquake Disasters
- Law of the People's Republic of China on Conserving Energy
State Environmental Protection Administration
Ministry of Water Resources
Ministry of Land and Resources
China Environmental Industry Network
Chengdu Giant Panda Research Base