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Untreated wastewater splits river in half

By Giang Chinh   December 8, 2021 | 12:14 am PT
Untreated wastewater splits river in half
The Lach Tray River in Hai Phong sees its color split into two: one half in red and the other in black, December 7, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Chinh
A river in the northern port city of Hai Phong saw its water color split in two Tuesday morning, with one half the usual red and the other, a foul black.

At around 10 a.m., the Ba Tong sewer outlet in Le Chan District's Kenh Duong Ward released wastewater into Lach Tray River, causing one half to turn black and foamy, while the other half remained illuvial red.

Nguyen Van Thang, residing beside the river, said the release of untreated wastewater has not only damaged the environment but also harmed dozens of families who raise shrimp, fish and other aquatic produce downstream. The wastewater would eventually enter the sea, Thang added.

Ta Viet Dong, director of the Hai Phong management board for urban development and construction investment projects, admitted to having instructed the release of untreated wastewater into Lach Tray River, but said it was "all rainwater and no waste."

He refused to explain why the wastewater couldn't be diverted to the Vinh Niem wastewater treatment plant, located just a kilometer away.

Le Anh Quan, deputy chairman of Hai Phong People's Committee, said the matter is being investigated.

The Ba Tong sewer outlet is intended to release rainwater and wastewater in Kenh Duong and Dang Gian wards. When heavy rain causes water to rise, the outlet would begin pumping to avoid flooding. Normally, wastewater in the area would be collected and transported to the Vinh Niem wastewater treatment plant before being released into Lach Tray River.

This isn't the first time the management board has released untreated wastewater into Lach Tray River. It already did so in December 2020, causing pollution and prompting city authorities to issue a warning.

 
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