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Pure parks, now the creek

WATER purifying methods used in the Expo site are to be used to clean up the city's Suzhou Creek.

These include planting underwater plants and introducing fish to eat discarded waste, Zhang Yinjiang, a professor at Shanghai Ocean University, said.

The methods proved effective in purifying the water on a section of the Huangpu River in Houtan Park, one of the four parks on the Expo site. The stretch had been highly polluted as it was near the city's former factory complex, he said.

The park now has a 1,700-meter waterway with different underwater plants on the riverbed to purify more than 2,400 cubic meters of water every day.

The water is used to clean the streets on the Expo site and irrigate plants.

The method is expected to have a similar effect on the Suzhou Creek, Zhang said.

The creek is being dredged at present and engineers will begin planting after that work is finished, he said.

Another method to be used on the creek is the building of floating islands.

The method is currently in use on the Bailianjing River near the Japan Pavilion.

The roots of the plants can absorb contaminants, while the islands can provide an ecologically sound environment for both birds and fish, Xu Yatong, a professor at the East China Normal University, said.

Many tortoises and wild ducks had been attracted to Bailianjing Park and Houtan Park since they were completed in September.

The methods are far cheaper than building a water purification plant and can also create an ecologic environment for the creek, Xu said.

He put the cost at about 100 yuan (US$14.64) per square meter.

It cost 2 million yuan to purify the river at Houtan Park but it would have cost more than 10 million to build a water purification factory, Zhang said.


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