Improving home water quality

Yellowish tap water becomes clear and transparent after reconstruction on out-of-date water systems in 2,000 old housing estates in Minhang district.

Out-of-date water systems in 2,000 old housing estates are undergoing reconstruction this year, bringing better quality tap water to thousands of residents.

“Water coming out of the tap was a bit yellowish before,” said Wang Minxia, a resident who lives in the Lumei housing estate, where upgrading is completed. “I was always worried about using it for drinking or washing food. Now the water is clear and transparent, and I can taste the difference in the foods I cook.”

Zhang Zheying, chief of the Water Resources Management Center at the Water Supplies Bureau, said water delivered to homes goes from the source to an intermediary system before entering homes. That entails a lot of infrastructure where things to go wrong.

“These housing estates were built under relatively low standards, and equipment has corroded over the years,” he said. “That meant the quality of water wasn’t always good.”

Housing estates built before the year 2000 are the main targets of the upgrading. The major concern is that corroded water systems may result in potential lead or copper in tap water.

This project will replace pipes, water tanks, water pumps and old water service lines. That requires shutting off water supplies for temporary periods of times.”

“Given this hot summer, we have to notify residents well in advance to make sure they are prepared,” said Huang Qiang, who works at the Xinzhuang Water Station.

Notices of temporary water suspension are posted on community notice boards, and shut-down times are usually scheduled for off-peak use hours.

“If the residents wish, they can ask for video footage or documents of construction work,” said Huang. “We just want to ensure that residents are satisfied with the results of this work.”

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