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Da Nang's beautiful beaches under threat as sewage streams into the ocean

By Nguyen Dong   August 2, 2017 | 12:05 pm GMT+7

Foul smells and streams of black wastewater have scared many tourists away.

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This wastewater outlet in My An Ward, Ngu Hanh Son District is dumping black, stinking domestic wastewater directly onto Sao Bien Beach.

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Nguyen Xuan Anh, the city's top leader, inspected this outlet back in March and asked relevant departments to immediately deal with the pollution. “With such a foul smell, no-one would dare to bathe here,” he said.

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However, streams of polluted water are still pouring out of the outlet, and the sand has even changed color.

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There is a system in place to divert wastewater from the My An outlet to the district's wastewater treatment plant. However, it has been overloaded with wastewater from the large number of new hotels in the area, according to Mai Ma, director of the Da Nang Wastewater Treatment Company.

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Ngo Minh Tu, a tourist from Hanoi, claimed bathing in this area gave him a rash. A restaurant next to the outlet has also complained about losing customers because of the smell.

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This part of the beach used to be jam-packed with tourists, but the foul smell has scared many away. “This outlet collects both wastewater and rain water, so the water overflows and leaks onto the beach every time it rains,” Ma, the wastewater treatment official, said.

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This outlet on My Khe Beach has been covered with sand, but wastewater continues to leak onto the beach.

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The popular tourist destination has been slowly losing customers, according to Nguyen Thi Chin, one of the beach managers. “Tourists say they come to bathe in the sea, not in wastewater, so they just leave for another beach,” she said.

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Chin shows pictures she took of wastewater overflowing and polluting the beach, hoping local authorities will deal with the issue quickly so her business can return to normal.

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After seeing the streams of wastewater, some tourists said they would never visit Da Nang's beaches again.

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Many outlets in Tho Quang Ward, Son Tra District are also discharging domestic wastewater into the ocean. Nine of these outlets dot the coastline of Son Tra and Ngu Hanh Son, Ma said.

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Green moss has started growing at the bottom of this small pool of wastewater.

The city has agreed to build underground pipes with diameters of 1.8-2.2 meters (5.9-7.2 feet) to collect all the wastewater, according to Ma. But he said he didn't know when construction would start.