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March 9, 2013

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Pig carcasses raise tap water concerns

DOZENS of dead pigs have been seen floating in one of the upper tributaries of the Huangpu River since Tuesday, and while they are being removed quickly, the incident has raised tap water pollution concerns in Songjiang District, the district government said yesterday.

The water quality around the area's water plant had not been affected as of yesterday - the polluted stream does not run through the plant directly, district officials said.

Shanghai Water Authority is closely monitoring water quality in case any emergency measures are needed.

At least 45 carcasses have been removed, and officials are keeping close tabs on that and other farm waste, trash and nuisance aquatic plants.

"There have been some waste in the water drifting down from the upper streams lately, but not as much as this week," said a district government spokesperson surnamed Lu.

"The pollution is in Hengliaojing Creek while the nearest water plant is beside a branch creek of Xietang a few kilometers away," Lu said.

Samples of the water of Xietang are being tested once an hour to stop any pollution of the drinking water, Lu said.

The dead pigs may be from a farm on the upper tributaries in Zhejiang Province. The city's environmental authority was investigating yesterday.

The dead pigs were first reported on Thursday after a local resident saw them and posted a picture on Weibo. "This is the water we drink! Animals' dead bodies could easily be seen in the ... water conservation area and it stinks!" the netizen, identified as Shaolinsidezhu1986, posted, along with a picture of eight dead pigs. "This isn't the first time this has happened. I don't know what the related departments are doing!"

The post was widely read and had earned more than 400 reposts by yesterday.

By 3:30pm, dead bodies of the animals could still be found in the water of Hengliaojing.

"The Songjiang part of Hengliaojing Creek is 27.5 kilometers long and there are staff twice a day cleaning the waste floating down," Lu claimed.

After repeated cases of pollution, officials have said they will integrate water from upper tributaries of the Huangpu into a broader part of city's water supply and close small plants.


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