Water safe after industrial waste dumping

Updated: 2011-08-14 07:39


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QUJING - Water quality monitors said Saturday drinking water was safe after chromium dregs were illegally dumped about two months ago in a city in southwest China's Yunnan Province.

The dregs didn't affect the tap water supply in the City of Qujing as the locations of the dumped waste were far from drinking water sources of local residents, Yin Zhengwu, an official with the environmental protection bureau in Qujing, told Xinhua.

No casualties have been reported as a result of the chromium pollution, according to Yin.

On July 12, the city's environment authorities found goats died after drinking chromium-polluted water in the city's Qilin District.

A sequent investigation showed the dregs were produced by a chemical company in Luliang County in Qujing. Two people dumped most of them into roadside bushes in Qilin and they had been arrested by local police, according to Yin.

The dregs contain hexavalent chromium. Inhalation of the compounds may increase risk of lung cancer and cause genetic disorders.

By July 17, clean-up efforts wrapped up with 9,130 tonnes of chromium and contaminated earth recovered and transported to a special site in the company, Yin said.

Nearly 43,000 cubic meters of chromium-polluted water from the Chachong Reservoir, built to battle drought and flood in Qujing's Yuezhou Township, had been cleaned and discharged into the Nanpan River, he said.

Another 100 cubic meters of contaminated water in a pond in the city's Sanbao Township was also cleaned, he said.

The Nanpan River is the headwaters of the Pearl River, a major river that flows through the southern Guangdong Province.

Officials with the Guangdong Provincial Environmental Protection Department also said no chromium pollution has been detected in the Pearl River.