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November 16, 2018

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Waterway cleanup flows smoothly on

Some 7,600 polluted waterways have been cleaned up this year, a step closer to eliminating all water pollution by 2020.

The proportion of local waterways too heavily polluted to be used has declined to 23 percent from 38.7 percent, meeting the 2018 target, the city water authority said yesterday.

Earlier this year, a survey found 18,800 polluted waterways in the city, 7,650 of which have since seen some improvement.

The success has been put down to the river chief system, with district directors now in charge of ensuring that major waterways under their jurisdiction are cleaned up and stay clean. If they fail, they may find themselves in hot water.

The city is aiming to restore 85 percent of polluted waterways by the end of 2019 and 95 percent the next year. This means upgrading facilities, controlling sewage, building separate sewage and rainwater systems, and demolishing illegal structures on river banks.

In Hangtou Town, the Pudong New Area, one of the formerly stinking channels already cleaned is Yantietang River, literally “salt and iron river,” which has been a cargo route for more than 1,000 years. Pudong water authority yesterday said dredging, control of sewage and restoration of the ecosystem was complete.

Once an important shipping channel and water source, ships disappeared and residents began using tap water. Illegal buildings sprung up on the riverside. Pollution naturally followed.


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