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May 27, 2011

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Ebbing salt tide to return soon

THE salt tide which affected the city's water quality in recent days is expected to ebb early this morning, but is likely to resurface next month, local water officials said yesterday.

With the tide ebbing, the salt density of the water near the Chenhang Reservoir, one of the city's major water sources affected by the tide, near the mouth of the Yangtze River, had plunged to less than 300 milligrams per liter from the previous 563mpl, reaching the unpolluted level of 250mpl, according to the Shanghai Water Authority.

Zhao Pingwei, deputy director of the water supply control and monitor center, said the tide should be gone by this morning and the reservoir should soon be open again to take clean water from the Yangtze. "The ebbing trend of the tide is obvious," Zhao told Shanghai Daily yesterday. "So far the water level in the reservoir is still sufficient for local supply."

However, Zhao confirmed that the salt tide should return around June 5.

"Salt tide during this season is really not common as the flow of the (Yangtze) river should've been sufficient to push the water into the sea in the summer," Zhao explained, citing drought conditions along the Yangtze.

It is the first time that a salt tide has appeared in Shanghai in May since 1992. Experts said the extended tide season was caused by the severe drought in central China which has dropped the water level in the Yangtze to its lowest in five decades.


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