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January 21, 2022, 5:56 pm

Dead rivers encircle Hanoi

(14:44:53 PM 25/06/2015)
( - Hanoi used to be surrounded by romantic rivers, but now the heavily polluted rivers are threatening the lives and health of people.

 Dead rivers encircle Hanoi

A piece of Nhue River.

With a length of almost 20 km, running from Tu Liem district to Phu Xuyen district, the water in many sections of the Nhue River is dark, thick, and smelly. These sections have almost no sign of life.


The most heavily contaminated segments of the Nhue River include Cau Trang area in Ha Dong District, Cau Tay area in Nam Tu Liem district. On these sections, there were times that the river almost dried up, with smelly and dead bodies of animals.


According to the people living along the river, pollution has occurred for a long time and the situation is getting worse along with the appearance of new urban areas.


Nguyen Huu Nghia, 54 years old, a resident of Ngoc Truc village in Dai Mo ward, Nam Tu Liem district, said: "About ten years ago we still caught fish in the river. We could also use water for irrigation. But in recent years, the river has been increasingly polluted. Fish and shrimp cannot live while people who bathe in the river broke out into a rash or had skin diseases."


Mrs. Phung Thi Hoa, 78 years old, a resident in Cu Khe Commune, Thanh Oai District, whose whole life has been attached to the river, lamented said she has never seen Nhue River as scary as it is right now. "Whenever it rained heavily, fish and shrimp from ponds in the village followed the rainwater overflowing into the river and the next day they were dead,  floating on the river surface. Nobody dared to pick dead fish to feed pigs or dogs,” she said.


According to local residents, the pollution of Nhue River has heavily polluted groundwater in the area. The water in numerous wells of households living along the river has gradually turned opaque, with floating scum and bad smell. Many inspection teams of Thanh Oai district collected water samples for testing and found out that well water in Cu Khe had a high level of arsenic concentration.


Rivers are dying due to wastewater


 Dead rivers encircle Hanoi

The black To Lich River.

Not only people who live along the Nhue River but those who settle along To Lich River, which runs through the districts of Cau Giay and Thanh Xuan, have had to cope with the river’s severe pollution.


Hanoi authorities have cleaned the river several times but the pollution is still terrible. The water is increasingly shallow, with a bad smell. The river today looks no different from a sewage reservoir where no living creatures can survive.


The major cause of the pollution is wastewater. There are nearly 250,000 m3 of wastewater discharged directly into the river without treatment every day. This river has long been the true horror of the households living along the banks.


Mrs. Tran Thi Tuyet, 38 years old, in Yen Hoa Ward, Cau Giay District, said the section running through Yen Hoa ward is getting depleted. After rain, when the sun rises or there is strong wind, toxic gas from the river rises up. Many families had to sell or rent their houses to move to another place.


The pollution of other rivers inside Hanoi like Lu, Set and Kim Nguu is also alarming and the cause of pollution is also untreated wastewater.


According to the Hanoi Environmental Protection Department, the quality of water of Hanoi’s rivers such as Lich, Set, Lu, Nhue, and Kim Nguu is in an alarming situation because of the high concentration of toxic chemicals, specifically the concentration of BOD 2-5 times higher than the permitted level, COD - 2-6 times higher, phosphates 4-5 times higher, iron 1.5 to 2 times higher, and ammonium - 18-40 times higher, coliform 2-100 times higher.


Prof. Dr. Tran Duc Ha, Deputy Director of the Institute for Water Supply, Drainage and Environment, said currently Hanoi's groundwater resources are at risk of being heavily polluted because of the huge volume of untreated wastewater discharged directly into the environment.


Only in the inner area, up to 650,000 m3 of wastewater is discharged directly into rivers and lakes a day while there are only three wastewater treatment plants in with a total capacity of over 206,000 m3/day in the city.


Officials from the Hanoi Environmental Protection Department said they had advised the Hanoi Department of Natural Resources - Environment to implement a number of projects to deal with polluted rivers in the city. In particular, the city will build more wastewater treatment factories and upgrade the capacity of some existing plants. The river of To Lich will be supplemented with water from the Red River.


Le Ha

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