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Pollution mars island's water supply

A CONCRETE mixing plant in Chongming Island today promised to replace tap-water pipelines for villagers who fell sick after the plant poured polluted waste into a nearby pond.

More than 300 residents of Chenguang Village, Chenjia Town, suffered stomach aches and diarrhea after drinking the polluted tap water since the end of March.

They said sand and clay could be seen clearly in the water. About 90 villagers, or nearly a third of the population, are sick with some still in hospital, according to Yin Beifeng, vice director of the Chenguang Village committee.

"Most of the patients with severe symptoms are old," said Yin. "But they will recover in a few days and the concrete mixing plant promised to cover their medial expenses."

Meanwhile, other villagers found dead fish floating on a pond at the factory.

Yin said the pollution was caused by the plant which poured waste into a pond that directly connected with tap-water pipelines.

He said the factory planned to spend about 400,000 yuan (US$58,574) to replace all the water pipes, cover medical fees and compensate villagers.

Huang Zheng, an official with Chenjia Town tap water plant, said the replacement began last week and construction was expected to be completed today or tomorrow.

Huang said during the construction period, each family would receive 300 liters of purified water for everyday use.

But villagers complained this was not enough and said they had to fetch extra water from wells every day.


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