Reuters reports that thousands of fish have been found dead in a river outside of Wuhan after a toxic spill:
Thousands of dead fish have been found floating in a river in central China following a toxic spill, Xinhua news agency said on Wednesday, the latest in a series of pollution scandals to hit the country’s water supplies.
Xinhua said 300 workers had dredged around 100,000 kilograms of dead fish from a 40-km (25-mile) stretch of the Fu river, near the heavily populated city of Wuhan in Hubei province.
The provincial environmental protection agency had identified the Shenzhen Stock Exchange-listed Hubei Shuanghuan Science and Technology Stock Co Ltd as the company responsible for the Monday’s spill, with ammonia levels found to be way beyond acceptable levels, Xinhua said.
Trading in the company’s shares was suspended on Wednesday pending an announcement. [Source]
In effort to keep locals calm, environmental authorities have noted that the Fu River is not a source of drinking water. However, the river is a tributary of the Yangtze. The New York Times reports:
Environmental officials said the river was not used as a source of drinking water, and they urged residents not to panic. Spills in China have often set off runs on bottled water because of fears of contaminated supplies.
[…]The Fu River flows into the Yangtze, China’s longest river and the source of drinking water for millions. Spills into the Yangtze and its tributaries remain a continuing problem despite huge investments in reducing pollution, [director of the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs Ma Jun] said.
“Even though it has a large volume of water, with 40 percent of China’s wastewater dumped into this watershed we are concerned about the health of this river and the quality of its water,” he said. [Source]
Industrial water pollution is a major environmental concern in China, as has been highlighted by recent high profile cases throughout the country.