Shanghai is planning to finish the decade-long cleanup of Suzhou Creek by the end of 2008 and then set up a monitoring and cleaning mechanism to make sure it does not return to its polluted state, a local water authority said on Wednesday.
The effort to clean up this notoriously polluted creek entered its third phase this year. The goal of the current phase is to prevent pollutants from flowing into the creek and its tributaries.
Zhi Shiqing, the deputy director of Shanghai's Water Affairs Bureau, said three drainage facilities and four pump stations would be built along the creek in the next two years.
Local water authorities will also renovate the sewerage system at 21 existing pump stations near the river and it branches.
These projects are expected to reduce pollution from household waste-water and rainfall and will cost the local government 1.33 billion yuan (US$166 million), Zhu said.
He made these comments at the opening ceremony of a seminar on environmental protection jointly organized by Shanghai Tongji University and HSBC bank.
Other efforts to clean up Suzhou Creek include the removal of silt from the creek-bed and the renovation its 26 kilometre-long floodwall, Zhu said.
He added that some 1.3 million cubic metres of silt would be removed from the creek-bed and probably processed into bricks.
Zhu declined to give a detailed forecast of the cleanup project's chances of success, saying only that the goal was to "improve the water quality of Suzhou Creek and the Huangpu River simultaneously."
Originating from Taihu Lake, Suzhou Creek has historically been considered Shanghai's most polluted waterway and was notorious for its disgusting stench and black water.
The creek was heavily polluted by a variety of sources after Shanghai was opened to international trade and docks were built along its banks at the beginning of 20th century. The clean-up project began in 1998, and the creek's water quality has gradually improved ever since.
Fish are reported to have returned to the creek recently, and its surrounding landscape has been improved by the development of green spaces along its banks. Many local artists have set up studios along the creek. But the creek's water quality still has a long way to go before it is clean.
Source: China Daily