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Most sewage discharged into rivers

By Zheng Caixiong (China Daily)

09:23, July 10, 2012

Rubbish is piled up on the surface of Lianhe River, Guangdong province, in April. Zhou Wei / Yangcheng Evening News

Nearly 76 percent of the sewage generated in Guangdong province last year was directly discharged into local rivers, the province reported on Monday.

The Guangdong Provincial Department of Water Resources published the findings in the Bulletin of Guangdong's Water Resources in 2011.

The amount of sewage discharged in the southern province reached 12.53 billion metric tons in the previous year, up 110 million tons from 2010, the bulletin reported.

Industrial wastewater represented 55 percent while domestic sewage accounted for the remaining 45 percent of the sewage discharged in Guangdong in 2011.

More than 9.5 billion tons of the sewage, or 75.8 percent of the total, was directly discharged into local rivers, the bulletin said.

The major river systems in Guangdong are the Pearl River Basin, the Hanjiang River Valley, and rivers in the eastern and western parts of the province. According to the year-end report, the water quality of rivers in eastern Guangdong is the worst, with 30 percent of them heavily polluted.

Because of the serious pollution, the water quality of major rivers within Guangdong province is poor, threatening the health of local residents who live along the province's riverbanks, the bulletin said.

And the water quality has become even worse in the Pearl River Delta region, which borders Hong Kong and Macao.

More than 54.8 percent of the sewage that has directly been discharged into rivers in 2011 was reported in the affluent Pearl River Delta, one of the economic engines on the Chinese mainland.

The cities of Guangzhou, the Shenzhen special economic zone, Dongguan and Foshan each discharged more than 500 million tons of wastewater into local rivers annually, according to the bulletin.

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