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2.8 mln tons of algae removed from polluted Taihu Lake since 2007: newspaper

(Xinhua)

10:03, February 02, 2012

BEIJING, Feb. 1 (Xinhua) -- Great efforts have been made by governments at multiple levels to clean up Taihu Lake, located in the city of Wuxi in east China's Jiangsu Province, following a catastrophic outbreak of blue-green algae in summer 2007.

So far, 2.8 million tons of algae have been pumped out of the lake, according to a report in the Guangzhou Daily newspaper.

Over the last five years, a pilot project has been launched to divert water from the Yangtze River to Taihu, one of the country's largest lakes, in order to clean up the lake's algae contamination, the report said.

However, the lake has been difficult to clean up due to severe pollution from the factories and farms located in the cities around the lake. The lake is located in the center of the Yangtze River Delta, one of the country's most developed and industrialized regions.

"It may take less than 10 years to contaminate the lake, but it will take 30 years or more to make it clean," said an official from the lake's administration.

"I used to swim in the lake when I was a young child," recalled Wu Lihong, a 45-year-old farmer from the city of Yixing, which became known during the 2007 algae outbreak for its role as one of the main contributors of industrial pollution to the lake.

In the late 1980s, local fishermen found that their fish exuded an unusually bad odor due to pollution from the factories around the lake, Wu said, adding that the lake's water had turned "milky" in appearance around the same time.

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