City’s major tap water source reservoir closed after contamination caused by ship collision nears

by Yang Jian, originally posted on July 14, 2016


SHANGHAI’S major tap water source, the Qingcaosha Reservoir, has stopped taking in water from the Yangtze River after a collision between two over 10,000-ton cargo ships taking place on the upstream, which had contaminated the river, the Shanghai Water Authority said.

The dams of the reservoir will be closed if the oil contamination failed to be cleared on the upstream to protect the water resource from being polluted, the authority announced. The reservoir contains enough water to supply the city for 68 days.

The 20,000-ton cargo ship Changrongmen collided with the Zhongheng 9 carrying over 10,000 tons of steel beams around 1am on Wednesday on the river section near the Changshu City in neighboring Jiangsu Province. The smaller Zhongsheng ship sank immediately but no one was injured.

Fifteen crews on Zhongheng were saved 50 minutes later after the rescue team of Changshu sent five rescuing ships. The Changshu authority has also dispatched ships to clear the leaking oil.

The Shanghai Water Authority has asked the water plants along the river in the Chongming Island and Jiading District to enhance the monitoring on the water quality. The contaminated water is expected to flow to the city today.

“If necessary, all the dams of the reservoir will be closed until all the contamination was cleared,” said an official with the authority.

About 70 percent of the city’s population gets its tap water from the Yangtze, which is purified at the reservoir. The Huangpu is mainly used as a reserve water resource.

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