The discovery by competent agencies that running water provided by the My Dinh II in Nam Tu Liem District had an arsenic concentration four times higher than the permitted level has raised an alarm about underground water exploitation.
Tuong Mai Water Plant.
Experts have repeatedly warned about the dangers of exploiting underground water in Hanoi, saying that the water is seriously polluted, especially in the low land areas.
Nguyen Van Mai in Hoang Mai District said he has been using the water from the Tuong Mai Water Plant for the dozens of years. The plant exploits underground water and provides to local residents.
The man said he became worried about the quality of the water provided after hearing that the My Dinh II Water Supply Station had been forced to stop operation following the discovery of a high concentration of arsenic in water.
“I clean my 4 cubic meter water tank once a month and every time when I do this, I get five barrels of dirty water which was as dark yellow as tea,” he said.
“We heard that Hanoians in many districts now can use clean water made of Da River's water. Meanwhile, we still have to use underground water here,” he complained.
The Ministry of Health recently tested the running water samples from some water supply stations in Hoang Mai district and found out that all the samples had ammonium and permanganate indicators higher than the permitted levels. The two substances, under certain conditions, may turn into the toxins that could harm people and cause cancer.
Ten years ago, inspection agencies discovered higher than permitted nitrogen concentration in water of the Phap Van water supply station, also in Hoang Mai District. Phap Van also took running water from exploited underground water.
It is still unclear if the problem of Phap Van is settled because management agencies have not released any further reports about the plant's water quality. However, Phap Van is still operating and providing water to local residents.
The silence of competent agencies puts consumers in a constant anxiety. Nguyen Van Hoang, a resident of Hoang Mai District, said consumers, who pay money for clean water, have the right to know about the water quality. He has proposed to set up standard laboratories which can test water samples to discover substandard water sources.
The plants which provide substandard water all belong to the Hanoi Water Company and they all exploit underground water in the southern and southwestern parts of the city.
Dr. Leu Tho Bach from the Hanoi University of Civil Engineering pointed out that all of the water plants are located in depressions, where the underground water gets polluted due to waste water stagnation.
Meanwhile, also according to Bach, the water supply plants in Hanoi can only deodorize iron and manganese, while they don't have suitable technology to eliminate arsenic.
Hanoi has seven water supply companies, 17 water plants and six water supply stations.
Dai Doan Ket
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