Tag Archive for 'industrial waste'

China’s Yangtze River Mysteriously Turns Bright Red

Photo retrieved from: www.takepart.com

The Daily Telegraph reported that the scarlet color may be due to “industrial pollution in silt churned up by recent floods,” according to Chinese officials.

The Yangtze River, the longest one in Asia and the third longest in the world, is a significant part of China’s economy—but its waters suffer from industrial pollution. The Yangtze basin contributes nearly half of the country’s crop production and is the major waterway of China.

Officals have good reason to suspect a chemical culprit in red-river mystery. This isn’t the first time China has seen red: In December 2011, the Jian River turned into a “river of blood” after two small chemical plants illegally dumped red dye into the city’s storm water pipe.

Scroll below for more photos of Chongqing’s scarlet river.”

Read more: Take Part


INDONESIA: Living with dirty water

Photo retrieved from: www.irinnews.org

“Heavy pollution of river water by household and industrial waste in the Indonesian province of West Java is threatening the health of at least five million people living on the riverbanks, say government officials and water experts.

Poor sanitation and hygiene cause 50,000 deaths annually in Indonesia, with untreated sewage resulting in over six million tons of human waste being released into inland water bodies, according to an ongoing study by the World Bank.

Ibu Sutria, 53, lives in a wooden shack on the banks of West Java’s Krukut River, which runs approximately 20km south from the capital, Jakarta, to the city of Depok. “Sometimes the river is clean, sometimes it’s dirty,” she said. Sutria suffers from regular bouts of stomach ache and diarrhoea, and says the river is constantly flooded.

“People use the river for a toilet and children play in it because they have nowhere else to swim.” She and others in her community use nearby ground water to wash themselves because they think it is cleaner than river water.

Pak Jumari, 35, is a leader of a community group living along the Ciliwung River, which runs north for 97km from the West Java city of Bogor. Since 2010 he has been using a boat to keep his own section of the Ciliwung clean by scooping out rubbish. “We find many detergents and soaps in the river, “he said. “We no longer use it for washing or drinking.”

Fishermen on the Ciliwung use “blast fishing” – bombs made of kerosene and fertilizer to kill fish so they are easier to catch – which has worsened pollution. Nevertheless, his community still fishes in the river, with few reported ill effects, he said.”

Read more: IRIN

Companies, households use Malang dam as garbage dump

Photo retrieved from: www.planemole.org

“Negligence and a lack of supervision has led Sengguruh dam in the East Java town of Malang to be used as a waste disposal site for household garbage and industrial waste, state water firm Perum Jasa Tirta says.

“Besides the industrial waste from the hundreds of companies, there has been a huge volume of household waste — about 20 to 30 cubic meters a day during the dry season, and up to 80 cubic meters a day during the rainy season,” Jasa Tirta spokesman Tri Hardjono said in Malang on Monday as quoted by Antara.

Tri added that the waste not only contaminated the water in the dam, but also made it shallower, obliging local authorities to dredge the dam every year as the local power plant relies on it for water.”

Read more: Jakarta Post

Water Pollution In Israel Threatens People, Animal, Plants

Photo retrieved from: www.greenprophet.com

“Water pollution in Israeli lakes, streams and groundwater aquifers is reaching alarming levels. Although the country has regulations in place to prevent discharges, including a comprehensive Water Law, contamination is commonplace. And now scientists are finding that water quality problems threaten both wildlife and human health.

The lutra, a cousin of the otter found in lakes and rivers throughout Northern Israel, is in danger of extinction. Hunting is one of the threats to this fish-eating swamp dweller. Guest workers, mostly from Thailand, have been responsible for a great deal of lutra poaching. Arriving from areas in Southeast Asia where unrestricted wildlife trapping is the norm, these workers often clash with Israel’s stricter protections.

However, the more pervasive danger for the lutra is polluted water flowing through its habitat. In a recent study published in the Israeli journal Ecology & Environment, scientists reported that low water quality and lack of flow in the Jordan River has nearly wiped out the lutra south of Lake Kinneret (the Sea of Galilee). The population north of the lake is relatively stable, but its disappearance in other areas has shocked ecologists.

Additionally, industrial waste from factories in the Rotem Plain has been leaching into groundwater near Ein Bokek Nature Reserve for almost two decades. Ein Bokek is one of the most important reserves in Israel, hosting a myriad species of animals and plants.”

Read more: Green Prophet

How The Environment Agency Has Spun The News On River Quality

A clean-up operation of the Thames at Brentford, south-west London. Retrieved from: www.guardian.co.uk

“But we must take the EA’s words with a heavy pinch of salt. The Wandle, which it says has “become a vibrant rich habitat due to better environmental regulation”, was massively polluted only a few years ago when Thames Water spilled thousands of gallons of industrial-strength chlorine into it; and only three months ago 450,000 tonnes of raw sewage escaped into the Thames, killing fish and leaving pollution.

However, the greater spin is to suggest that these and other English rivers are in good nick. The 10 rivers chosen here have been carefully selected and do not reflect the true status of our rivers, most of which are suffering because of abstraction, sewage, blockages to fish passes and other pollution.

What the government has done is to measure these rivers via what is called the General Quality Assessment (GQA). This assesses the water quality by the levels of oxygen demand (BOD), ammonia and dissolved oxygen found in the water. By this measure, rivers are indeed improving across the board and it is correct to say there has been a steady improvement in quality for 20 years, with 70% of rivers reaching “good” or “fair” standard.”

Read more: Guardian


City learns U.S. model to control pollution of Saigon River

Photo retrieved from: www.vietnamnet.vn

“This is the first time the city applies the approach of EPA for controlling pollution of the Saigon River, and this model could be applied for other river basins in Vietnam,” Triet told the Daily on the sidelines of a seminar on measures to fight pollution of the Saigon River that was held here yesterday.

At the moment, his institute is making a master project of seeking feasible solutions to protect the water source of the river so as to ensure crude water supply for the whole city in the future.

He said with this master project, the institute suggested HCMC, Binh Duong and Tay Ninh provinces to carry out 13 priority projects to quickly control the river’s pollution between now and 2015. The project has total implementing budget of over VND17 trillion, or some US$820 million.

The Saigon River has been severely polluted by receiving huge amounts of untreated industrial and household wastewater each day.

At the moment, HCMC alone discharges over one million cubic meters of household wastewater into the river each day. Furthermore, Binh Duong is also discharging 41,500 cubic meters of urban wastewater and another amount of over 40,000 cubic meters of industrial wastewater each day.

Le Viet Thang, a scientist of the institute, told the seminar that a recent research had discovered that over 80% of the household wastewater along the river basin was still untreated, all flowing into the Saigon River.

Is That a Banana in Your Water?

Photo retrieved from: www.nationalgeographic.com


“Banana peels are no longer just for composting or comedy shows: New science shows they can pull heavy metal contamination from river water.

Metals such as lead and copper are introduced to waterways from a variety of sources, including agricultural runoff and industrial wastes. Once there, heavy metals can contaminate soils and pose health risks to humans and other species. Lead is known to affect the brain and nervous system.

Traditionally, water quality engineers have used silica, cellulose, and aluminum oxide to extract heavy metals from water, but these remediation strategies come with high price tags and potentially toxic side effects of their own. They work as extractors due to the presence of acids such as those found in the carboxylic and phenolic groups, which attract metal ions.

Bananas, on the other hand, appear to be a safe solution. Banana peels also outperform the competition, says Gustavo Castro, a researcher at the Biosciences Institute at Botucatu, Brazil, and a coauthor of a new study on this new use of the fruit’s peel.

For the study, Castro and his team dried and ground banana peels, then combined them in flasks of water with known concentrations of metals. They also built water filters out of peels and pushed water through them.

In both scenarios, “the metal was removed from the water and remained bonded to the banana peels,” Castro said, adding that the extraction capacity of banana peels exceeded that of other materials used to remove heavy metals.”

Read more: National Geographic