The water quality at Taihu Lake has "improved significantly"
since the blue-green algae outbreak in May, a Wuxi official said
The nitrogen concentration in the lake, which is one of the
primary water sources for the city of Wuxi in Jiangsu province,
decreased substantially in the second half of last year, Liu
Yaming, director of the Wuxi environmental protection bureau, was
quoted by the Xinhua News Agency as saying.
Nitrogen levels at the city's two main water treatment plants,
Gonghu and Xiaowanli, fell 69 and 81 percent, respectively, he
The bureau said the level of organic contaminants in tap water
has been cut by a third, with other pollutants such as ammonia down
by as much as 60 percent.
Speaking at the local people's congress yesterday, Huang Xin,
deputy secretary-general of the Wuxi government, said authorities
are currently investigating alternative sources of funding to
tackle the pollution problem at Taihu Lake, in a bid to reduce the
burden on public coffers.
He said the city will also upgrade four sewage treatment plants
that deal with 85 percent of the city's wastewater and increase
monitoring of all the city's rivers.
But the treatment of water in the lake area will be a "long
process", Liu said.
More than 1 million Wuxi residents suffered water shortages when
the lake was hit by a large-scale blue-green algae outbreak last
The problem was blamed on the excessive amounts of pollutants
discharged into the lake from factories around.
Following the bloom, more than 2,200 small-sized chemical
factories were ordered to close.
Hu Xuejuan, a resident of Wuxi , said yesterday that she had
been worried about the quality of the city's drinking water ever
since the outbreak in May, when the tap water "smelled foul and was
"The situation is changing, but I hope the government can do
more to tackle the problem so there will be no more threats in the
future," she said.
(China Daily January 17, 2008)