Stinking rivers are becoming a thing of the past

Ke Jiayun
The vast majority of locally polluted rivers and creeks are now clean, with the rest of them due to be so by the end of the year.
Ke Jiayun

More than 90 percent of polluted rivers and creeks in the city have been cleaned up, the city's water authority said on Wednesday.

The rest are scheduled to be declared clean by the end of this year.

According to Shanghai Water Authority, by the first quarter of this year, 1,864 polluted rivers and creeks were recorded in the city after three rounds of inspection.

To tackle the water pollution, officials launched  projects, dismantled illegal structures built near waterways, reduced industrial emissions and monitored poultry producers.

By October, 1,744 black and stinking waterways were declared to be clean.

The projects have been targeted at waterways totaling about 1,540 kilometers, the water authority said, adding that 99 percent of illegal riverside structures have been demolished.

Emission controls have been applied to 2,040 industrial companies, and 102 poultry producers have been told to stop operating by rivers and creeks.

Newly built sewage pipes total 303 kilometers in length and 15 of the city's 24 rainwater pumping stations have improved their sewage interception processes.

Over 300 unlicensed private boats have been removed from local rivers.

This year the law enforcement department of local water and environmental protection authorities have received 1,306 cases in connection with the damaging of the water environment. Fines have exceeded 54.3 million yuan (US$8.2 million).

Boosting the clean-up are the country's "river chiefs." They have been appointed in a strategy making government officials guards of rivers to prevent water being contaminated by environmental hazards.

Currently there are 7,781 river chiefs in charge of all kinds of waterways across the city, ranging from lakes and rivers to small ponds.

Shanghai has 43,424 rivers and creeks, 40 lakes and 55,864 "minor or micro" water bodies, water officials said.

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