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Excessive cadmium not found in Liuzhou's drinking water

(Xinhua)

08:49, February 09, 2012

BEIJING, Feb. 8 (Xinhua) -- Drinking water in the southern Chinese city Liuzhou is safe, said a health ministry inspector in response to concerns triggered after the city's toxic cadmium spill threatened drinking water supplies.

Zhang Lan, researcher with Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC), made the remark at a press conference held by the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Wednesday in Beijing after returning from an inspection tour in Liuzhou city.

Zhang said that excessive cadmium had not been found in terminal tap water in the city, and drinking water was up to the required health standards according to examination results.

Zhang said the control of cadmium intensity in drinking water was well underway, and the MOH would keep monitoring contaminants to guarantee the safety of drinking water.

Deng Haihua, spokesman of the MOH, said the ministry attached great importance to the cadmium pollution in the Longjiang River, and dispatched an expert team to the ground.

Cadmium pollution was first detected in the Longjiang River on Jan. 15 in Hechi, and it later dissipated into the downstream Liujiang River, threatening water security in Liuzhou, a city with 1.5 million permanent residents in Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region.

Days of cleanup efforts have managed to bring down the pollution levels near or within the official limit, authority said. The contamination has killed many fish and triggered panic buying of bottled water.

However, Liuzhou on Monday announced a plan to build an alternative drinking water source, a reservoir on the Guchang River with a storage capacity of 100 million cubic meters.

The city now completely relies on the Liujiang River for tap water, and the reservoir on the Guchang River will offer a second choice.

The reservoir is designed to help meet the city's demand for two months in the summer and three months in the winter, the city government said.

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