Latest News:  

English>>China Society

Water remains unfit to drink

By ZHAO LEI and YANG YAO (China Daily)

09:11, April 25, 2013

Water safety remains a problem in the earthquake-hit areas of Sichuan province, rescuers said on Wednesday.

Zhou Yun, with Mianyang city's disease control and prevention center, sampled 15 sites from mountain springs, rivers, wells and water treatment plants in six villages in Longmen township, Lushan county.

Analyzed in a laboratory set up in a tent, the water was found to be slightly turbid, organically contaminated and unsuitable for drinking.

"But it can be used for washing clothes and showering," Zhou said. Bacterial tests results have yet to be released.

"Now we need to inform the villagers not to drink water directly from mountain springs, rivers or wells," he said.

They also taught villagers simple water treatment measures. "By putting two potable water purification tablets in 15 liters of water and boiling it, people can drink the water," Zhou said.

Now residents rely largely on bottled water. However, this is not a permanent solution, he said.

A teacher who did not want to be identified told China Daily that clean potable water storage can only last for a day. "The water supply pipes have not reached our town," he said.

Zhou and other health personnel said that they have a lot of work to do as local people do not have much knowledge about water safety.

In Lushan, where a major shelter has been built near a stadium, residents tried to pump water out of the swimming pool for daily use.

Zhu Xiaoping, an expert with the Sichuan CDC, said that the bacteria in the water from the pool exceeded standards.

"We have put up a sign there and warned residents not to drink from it," Zhu said.

Zhu said the next thing they will do is investigate water sources. "But that would need government support from forestry, agriculture and water authorities," Zhou said.

To ensure villagers' health, fecal bacteria should also be prevented from polluting the water. However, as villagers have all moved to shelters, a lack of toilets has become a problem.

Outdoor latrine pits cannot be flushed, as running water has not been restored. "This could trigger public health risks," said Zhang Biao, a doctor with the Chengdu air force medical team.

Now they spray the pits with quicklime to disinfect them, and 337 makeshift toilets will be built in the disaster area to ease hygiene problems, said Zhang Chengwen from the Red Cross Society of China's Yunnan office.

Touching moments:

Daily life of quake victims in Sichuan

High school students prepare for exam in tent

Rescuers struggling to reach every household

Soldiers bring hope to earthquake-hit region

First night after deadly earthquake

Rescuers work hard at quake-hit area in Sichuan

>>>Quake-hit China grows in pain

The principle of sparing no efforts to save lives cannot be more stressed. No minute or even second should be delayed during the "golden rescue period" in the first 72 hours after the quake.

>>>Pilot cancels wedding to participate in quake relief

When the 7.0-magnitude quake happened, Zhang Shangnian, a pilot from an aviation brigade of Chengdu Military Region, was about to hold his wedding.

>>>Nurse returns to work after losing mother

Just likes other medical staff, she was busy with rescuing people injured in the earthquake in SW China, but no one knew her mother just died in the quake.

>>>Wedding ceremony without bridegroom held on schedule

Zhuo Jia, the bridegroom, is a solider of the Chengdu Military Region; he had to leave his beautiful bride behind to participate in earthquake relief.

>>>An injured girl's smile moves many

"Your smile makes the entire world beautiful,” a photo of a smiling girl with bandage on her head has moved so many Chinese netizens.

>>>Teenager saves mom with his bare hands

The mother moves away a precast slab weighing over 50 kilograms alone to save her son in the earthquake. She said she did not know where her strength came from.

Email|Print|Comments(Editor:HuangJin、Gao Yinan)

Leave your comment0 comments

  1. Name


Selections for you

  1. China's aircraft carrier at Qingdao home base

  2. Powered parachutes used in quake rescue operations

  3. France allows same-sex marriage, adoption

  4. Are vaccines safe for your baby?

  5. Touching love stories in the quake

  6. Daily life of quake-affected people

  7. China motor fashion show debuts in Beijing

  8. WAGs of snooker players

  9. Entrepreneurs see potential in market

  10. No new stimulus needed as economy remains stable

Most Popular


  1. Insisting on wrong road, Japan has no future
  2. US 'turns blind eye to human rights'
  3. Are cities expanding too fast and too soon?
  4. Homework, games limit kids' reading
  5. Commentary: Quake-hit China grows in pain
  6. Loan guidance is good for banks, report says
  7. IMF should act responsibly
  8. Terrorist attacks should not be regionally labeled
  9. Texas town: like whipped by powerful tornado
  10. High land premiums set to affect profits

What’s happening in China

Photo story: 'Grassroots philanthropist' donates foods to quake zone

  1. Man, dead for months, found in apartment
  2. Truck driver's organs save five lives in Wuhan
  3. Suspected food poisoning kills 1, sickens 20
  4. Suicide woman got stuck in a well
  5. 2 dead in Gansu coal mine blast