A CLEANUP of Maozhou River, Shenzhen’s longest river infamous for its heavy pollution, will be started this year, with the 1.75 billion yuan (US$285.7 million) project expected to be finished in 2015, Shenzhen Evening News reported.
Water quality monitoring results by the Guangdong Environmental Monitoring Center indicated that water in the river’s trunk and 15 main tributaries was severely polluted with ammonia and nitrogen that are 23 times higher than the permitted amounts. The river is said to be one of the most polluted rivers in the Pearl River Delta Region, and ranked bottom of a national water quality scale.
Feng Shaohui, vice head of Guangming New Area Construction Bureau, said three chemicals — ammonia, nitrogen and total phosphorus — are most abundant in the river because of domestic sewage and aquaculture wastewater directly discharged into the river.
The river runs through the bordering areas between Shenzhen and Dongguan where a growing number of labor-intensive industries and migrant workers are contributing to its water quality degradation. The river’s drainage basin is home to about 3 million people.
In March, the river’s cleanup project was listed among the top 10 key environmental improvement projects in Guangdong Province.
Shenzhen Municipal Water Affairs Bureau said in May that the project will mostly cover the 18.85-kilometer section in Guangming New Area. The project will also cover 12 tributaries in the area.
Meanwhile, two districts where the lower reach passes by — Shenzhen’s Bao’an District and Chang’an Township in Dongguan City — will carry out water treatment simultaneously.
Feng said the most important part of the project would be preventing polluted water from being discharged into the river. Guangming New Area is building a sewage pipe totaling 124 kilometers at a cost of 668 million yuan. The sewage networks, expected to be completed in 2015, will treat sewage water before it flows into the river.
An area totaling 682,300 square meters has been cleared as of the end of July to make way for the project, accounting for 47 percent of the required clearance work that will include demolition of hundreds of houses and structures. A green belt will be built along the riverbanks.
“We hope that the river will not send out foul smells and be clean enough for people to swim in,” said a migrant worker surnamed Zhang in the Lisonglang Community area. (Anna Zhao)