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City to renovate water pipelines for better tap water quality

SHANGHAI today began renovating the water pipelines of old residential downtown communities long blamed for the poor quality of the city's tap water.

Some 140 million square meters of tap water pipelines will be renovated by 2020 in downtown and Jiading, Minhang and Baoshan districts and the Pudong New Area, said Yin Rongqiang, deputy director with the Shanghai Water Supply Administration.

"Residents will notice the water become clearer after renovation work is finished," Yin said. The renovation program to cover all the old residential buildings built before 2000 will make the water quality the same as that leaving the water plants, he said.

The program will include changing rusty pipelines in communities and buildings, coating water tanks in residential buildings with a membrane as well as installing monitoring facilities for water quality, according to Yin.

Shanghai's tap water quality is better than that of most other Chinese provinces, but still lags behind international standards for drinking straight from the tap.

Though the water source for most of the city, including downtown, has been changed to the cleaner Qingcaosha Reservoir in the mouth of Yangtze River from the Huangpu River, the water quality is still not ideal because old pipelines impact the water quality between the water plant and residents' houses.

The city launched the renovation program in 2007 and finished some 60 million square meters of pipeline for the 2010 Shanghai World Expo. The program then halted and resumed today.


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