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Duckweed pollutes Huangpu

DUCKWEED has infested the Huangpu River in southwestern Jinshan District, Xinmin Evening News reported today.

Workers have cleaned 530 tons of the floating plant from the district, and there are another 500 or so tons still to be cleared. District rivers have been infested by 390,000 square meters of duckweed.

The plant has also been seen in rivers in Qingpu, Songjiang and Baoshan districts but it has not yet been spotted in the main waterways of Suzhou Creek. It apparently originated in rivers running from Zhejiang Province.

The plant grows on the surface of the water and can double in size every 48 hours.

It feeds off nitrogen and phosphorous from sewage and river runoff. As the plant dies and rots, it absorbs oxygen, killing fish.

Shanghai's water source is upstream of the affected section of Huangpu River, so the city's water quality is unaffected.

There was a major duckweed outbreak last June with a 10-kilometer long stretch of duckweed in Huangpu River. The water authorities eventually cleaned it up.


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