Chinese state media reports contamination of a north Chinese river has led the water supply in Handan to be cut off, from Xinhua:
A statement by the city government said the cut-off was caused by an accident in the neighboring Shanxi Province where industrial pollutants poured into the upper reaches of the Zhanghe River.
The statement did not provide details about the accident, or how many households have been affected.
The city cut off its water supply from Yuecheng Reservoir located on the river and switched to another underground water source, according to the statement.
Residents in several parts of Handan told Xinhua reporters that the water supply had not resumed on Saturday evening.
Although the number of households affected was not included in the statement, the population of the city and the surrounding rural areas is about 9 million, AP reports:
Xinhua News Agency said Sunday that a loose drainage valve in a chemical plant was to blame for the leaking of nearly 9 tons of the chemical aniline into the river. It said another 30 tons of aniline have been contained in a disused reservoir.
Aniline, used in manufacturing polyurethane, can be toxic to humans.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the initial accident occurred in Changzhi, Shanxi Province:
Ma Jun, director of the nonprofit Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs in Beijing, described the incident in an interview as “serious” due to both the amount of pollutants involved and the toxicity of the substance. But he said the broader problem was the delay in making it public. “The government should do a thorough investigation,” Mr. Ma said.
Changzhi, the upriver city in Shanxi province where the initial accident occurred, illustrates the challenges China faces in protecting its natural resources. In a marketing video, historic Changzhi bills itself
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