A Rainbow of Pollution in Chinese Rivers

By Hsinyi Lin
Hsinyi Lin
Hsinyi Lin
May 1, 2013 Updated: May 1, 2013

Several netizens posted multicolored photos of different landscapes in China recently, but the bright colors were due to extreme pollution of the nation’s waterways.

On April 28, a resident from Yueqing in Wenzhou City, Zhejiang Province, said that the local river looks like a “soccer field” as it is covered with vegetation, according to China News.
The blogger’s photo showed a bridge over green “grass.” Apparently the river is in Xiaogang Village, and is covered in a thick layer of water hyacinths, like many other waterways in the area. 

A netizen responded: “This is good–now the black water is hidden by green grass.”

Another said, “Let’s make the most of spring and the Labor Day holiday to play ball on the river.”

A third commented: “Now we know how much the water quality has deteriorated.”

In mid-April, Ms. Chen from Cixi City, Zhejiang Province, uploaded a photo of a river in Sijiangkou. It had a dark green appearance, as if it had been dyed, with a thick consistency and wafts of odor. She commented, “How can we breathe here? I really cannot live like this any more.”

On April 27, residents in Panzhihua saw a large number of white objects floating on Jinsha River in Sichuan Province, almost covering the entire river, according to Huaxi City Daily. They turned out to be plastic foam, produced upstream in Yunnan Province at Ludila Hydropower station due to improper removal of packing plastic.

A sanitation worker told the Daily the objects had been there since that morning, with even more upstream, and they made the river look like it was covered with snow. Many Panzhihua residents are concerned about pollution of their drinking water, which comes from Jinsha River.

In Guangdong Province, the river in Xiaojin has taken on a purplish color due to waste water from a stone-processing factory. Locals now call it the “Blue Danube,” according to the International Business Times.
Since February, many members of the Chinese public have been demanding local mayors and environmental officers swim in rivers or drink the water, after a resident from Zhejiang Province challenged officials at an environmental protection bureau to swim in a polluted river. As local authorities tend to underreport issues with water quality, this has become the new reference for assessment.

Translation by Quincy Yu. Written in English by Cassie Ryan.

Read the original Chinese article [1] [2]

Hsinyi Lin