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Call for better water supervision

ENVIRONMENTAL protection departments should improve supervision of drinking water safety, according to a circular issued by the Ministry of Environmental Protection yesterday.

"In recent years, environmental emergencies continually occurred, posing severe threats to the safety of drinking water," it said.

The MEP said in 2008 it handled 135 environmental emergencies, of which 46 threatened drinking water. The ministry urged environmental protection departments to investigate potential pollution sources in and around water sources and reserves. It also called for tighter control of industries that illegally discharge sewage into reserves.

In one major incident, at least 200,000 people in Yancheng City, Jiangsu Province, lost their supply of tap water for three days last month after a chemical factory illegally dumped the disinfectant phenol into a river.


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