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|Friday, April 20, 2001, updated at 11:31(GMT+8)|
China's Third Largest Freshwater Lake Suffers Phosphorus PollutionThe Taihu Lake, the third largest freshwater lake in China, is heavily polluted by phosphorus coming from sewage and farm chemicals, the State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) said Thursday.
Most sewage in lakeside cities is not properly processed due to a lack of sewage treatment facilities, said Liu Hongzhi, an official with the SEPA, at a press conference.
At present 30 treatment plants have been built along the lake that cover an area of 2,420 square kilometers and other 24 are under construction.
The pollution caused by fertilizers and livestock manure is hard to control as the pollution sources scatter in lakeside villages," Liu said, adding that no rules have been made to control the situation.
Experts noted that each hectare of farmland along the lake consumes an average 510 kg of fertilizers a year, and about 30 percent of the water used for agricultural purpose, or some three billion cubic meters, flows back into the lake, containing a lot of phosphorus.
To bring the pollution under effective control, efforts should be made to use less water and fertilizers in agricultural production, experts said.
The local community and governments have begun to cope with the problem. The amount of nitric fertilizer used in lakeside Jiangsu Province last year was reduced by 10 percent from 1999.
All the 57 livestock farms along the lake have met the environment-friendly production standards set by the state or have been moved to different areas.
Blue and green algae are much less abundant than in the past several years, which shows the over-use of the water has considerably reduced, Liu said.
Taihu Lake is located in east China's Jiangsu Province along the lower reaches of the Yangtze River.
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