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Apple supplier pollutes city river

By Xu Chi and Liang Yiwen   (Shanghai Daily)

08:50, February 22, 2013

A FACTORY in suburban Shanghai which makes cases for Apple products is facing the "harshest penalty" for discharging waste into rain pipes, which severely polluted a river, local environment authorities said yesterday.

Residents in Songjiang District's Chedun Town had long been plagued by the stinky "river of milk" which ran across the district's industrial park and into their neighborhoods. The Tielu river earned its new name after it turned milky white and started to smell last year.

Residents worry about food safety as many farmers grow vegetables next to the river, using its water to irrigate their crops.

Elderly residents frequently wash vegetables in the river before sending them to be sold in the town's markets. They were washing the vegetables even after the water appeared milky white, local residents said.

"The water seemed to be poisoned. It started to appear white last year and it was so stinky and dirty that small fish and crabs have all died out," said a 63-year-old resident surnamed Ping. "I tried to stop people from washing vegetables in that river, but they never listened to me."

In a section of the river which runs across a residential neighborhood, the water is covered by solid matter which looks like dirty ice and smells bad.

A plastic washbasin which had been thrown into the river hadn't moved or sunk but just "stood" on what seemed like a solid surface.

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