Northeastern China's city of Harbin will step up efforts to
improve the water quality of the Songhua River after it suffered
serious pollution due to a chemical plant spill upstream last
In the next five years, Harbin, capital of
Heilongjiang Province, will attach greater importance to
ensuring safe drinking water supply, building sewage treatment
plants, and strictly controlling industrial pollution, the city's
2006-2010 guidelines for water pollution prevention and treatment
of the Songhua River in the city's section said.
By 2010, main pollutants in water will be reduced by more than
15 percent, and over 90 percent of urban sewage will be treated,
according to the guidelines, which has been approved by the city's
To achieve the goals, the city will carry out a series of key
projects, such as protection of drinking water sources, treatment
of key polluters and enhancement of water quality monitoring,
according to the plan.
In November last year, a chemical spill flowed into the river
after a petrochemical plant blast in
Jilin Province upstream, causing a five-day cutoff of water
supply for Harbin.
A survey conducted by the State Environmental Protection
Administration in 2004 indicated that one third of the water in the
Songhua River was class-five or worse. China classifies water into
five quality categories with class one being the best.
Earlier this year, China planned to invest 26.6 billion yuan
(US$3.28 billion) to control the pollution of the Songhua River in
the coming five years.
(Xinhua News Agency March 8, 2006)