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May 24, 2011

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Salt tides affect water quality

THOUSANDS of dead fish polluted a river in Pudong's Zhangjiang Town after water quality deteriorated amid ongoing salt tides.

The Pudong environmental protection authorities cleaned up all the dead fish yesterday after receiving complaints about the foul smell.

Lujiabang's water quality has deteriorated over the past months and few people have gone fishing or swimming recently, according to a resident surnamed Cui.

The waterways watchdog launched an investigation and found that river quality had deteriorated as repeated salt tides at the mouth of the Yangtze River prevented efforts to create a fresh water exchange with inland waterways.

In the past, this has been done by opening watergates on the Yangtze and replenishing water in sluggish inland waterways. "The upstream water of the Yangtze River to the city is not clean," according to Huang Wei, deputy director of the waterway division at the Pudong Environmental Protection and Public Sanitation Administrative Bureau.

Shanghai Water Authority also admitted yesterday that the salt tides in the Yangtze River did affect the city's water quality, especially river water in rural areas.

The city is experiencing its seventh salt tide this year with the seawater streaming back into rivers, which was rare in history, according to the Shanghai Chengtou Co, operator of the city's water plants. In May alone, there have been two salt tides.

"The situation was intense but we already had plans to ensure the water supply this summer," said Meng Mingqun, director of the water supply division of the Shanghai Water Authority.


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