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March 27, 2014

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Renovation work resumes on rusty water pipelines in city

SHANGHAI yesterday restarted renovating rusty pipelines at old residential communities in downtown which have been blamed for poor source of water quality.

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

“Residents will notice clear water once the renovation work is completed,” Yin said.

The renovation program will cover all residential buildings built before 2000, he said.

It will involve changing rusty pipelines, coating water tanks with a membrane as well as installing water quality monitoring facilities.

Shanghai’s tap water quality is better than other Chinese provinces and cities, but it still lags behind in meeting international standards.

Though most part of the city gets tap water from the Qingcaosha Reservoir, the water quality, despite being clean at the source, is not ideal because of the old pipes.

Shanghai has more than 200 million square meters of old residential houses with pipes that need to be changed, said Gu Jinshan, director with the Shanghai Water Authority.

The city launched the program in 2007 and completed work on some 60 million square meters of pipelines before the 2010 Shanghai World Expo. The program, which was then halted, resumed yesterday.

Yin said the renovation work also required cooperation from residents as water pipes in the complexes and in the apartments have to be refitted with new ones.

Most of the costs will be borne by the district governments but residents’ funds may also be used to support the program, he added.

By the end of 2015, 70 percent of the city’s drinking water will be provided by the Qingcaosha and Chenghang reservoirs. Huangpu River will contribute the remaining 30 percent of tap water.

After the water source was moved, the pipeline, called secondary water supply, has become a major mission for the water authority.

A 44-kilometer-long pipeline, with pipes 4 meters in diameter, will be built to link six different water intakes along the upstream Huangpu River. It can be closed during water pollution.

The city government is also developing more water resources after a study conducted by a local political advisory body warned that Shanghai may face water shortages if the population continues to soar.


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