Drinking water polluted by tailing residue in Sichuan

The local government of Mianyang city, in Southwest China’s Sichuan Province, recently warned citizens not to drink tap water as the city’s major water source was polluted by tailings from a local electrolytic manganese plant.

The tailing residue from the electrolytic manganese plant in the upper reaches of Fujiang River drifted into the water last Thursday as a result of a heavy rainstorm, and monitors of the local environment bureau detected the pollution on Tuesday, according to a circular posted on the city government’s official website.

The government advised residents to drink bottled or barreled water until environmental authorities declared the water safe to drink.

“The levels of ammonia nitrogen and manganese were detected to be too high, and we are taking measures to eliminate the pollution while monitoring water quality,” Feng Gudong, chief of the Pollution Control Division of Mianyang Environmental Protection Bureau told the Global Times on Wednesday. Feng added that boiling water can reduce the levels of the pollutants, and hence that it was not harmful to use tap water for bathing and for washing clothes.

It was reported that the excessive intake of manganese may lead to vomiting, diarrhea and gastrointestinal tract infection.

Customers choose bottled water at a supermarket in Mianyang city, Southwest China’s Sichuan Province on Tuesday.

Global times

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