All the Chinese cities must have operating sewage treatment
plants by 2010, with 70 percent of urban sewage treated before
being discharged into the environment, the deputy minister of
construction Qiu Baoxing has said.
Speaking at a national conference on water pollution control
last week, Qiu said currently there are 791 sewage treatment plants
operating in 383 Chinese cities.
Qiu's speech, made available to Xinhua Tuesday, said 52 percent
of the urban waste water in China is treated before being
discharged, up 18 percentage points from 2000.
In 135 major cities, 70 percent of the waste water are already
Qiu, however, said the country's water pollution situation is
still grave, as 278 cities have yet to build their sewage plants,
while many plants are running at lower-than-designed capacities.
Some are not even running at all.
To ensure the attainment of the goals, the deputy minister said
municipal authorities must include water pollution control into
their urban planning.
The lack of proper sewage collecting networks is partly to blame
for the under-utilization of the sewage treatment capacity.
Zhang Yue, the deputy director of the ministry's urban
construction department, said earlier that the issue arises from
the fact that many sewage treatment plants are financed by the
central government through treasury bonds, while the sewage
collecting networks are usually the responsibility of local
Qiu said government shall have to change its policy and inject
more funds into the building of sewage collecting networks.
To ensure the normal and sustainable operation of sewage
treatment plants, the deputy minister said the policy of charging
polluters for waste water treatment shall be applied to the
remaining 150-odd cities that have not adopted the policy.
(Xinhua News Agency July 26, 2006)