Contaminated Water Suspected to Reach Thousands

July 2, 2009 9:48 am Last Updated: July 4, 2009 8:51 am

Hundreds of residents in Northern China’s Kaluan coalmine district, Hebei Province, suffered from vomiting and diarrhea after consuming the area’s water. The quality of the water is now under investigation.

Chinese News Net reported on June 30, that about 1,000 people from four nearby communities suffered the symptoms of poisoning. However, local residents claim the total number is far beyond that.

Residents said that some people showed symptoms a week ago. The main symptoms are nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Some also have fever. In recent days, more and more residents are immerging with the above symptoms. People suspect the quality of the water supply, which comes from a well belonging to the nearby state owned Kailuan Group Tietuo Heavy Machinery Corp. There are total 4,196 households in 4 communities who share the same water supply.

The contamination has caused panic among residents. Local health authorities have started an investigation, testing some of the water samples. To avoid the situation getting worse, residents were advised not to consume the water. From June 30, relevant departments started to arrange fire engines to send water to the residents.

According to local residents, the water they consumed has had serious problems for some time now. Firstly, there is a lot of limescale in the water. The thermos bottles will be full of scales after filling them with water over a few days—the hard water is not suitable for drinking. Secondly, there’s some unknown substance in the water. The color of the gauze wrapped on the kettle outlet turns into yellow rust within one day. The contamination we see today is nothing but a long-existing problem coming to light.

Some rumors claim that Tietuo had already known of the water contamination and informed its own management, but it did not inform the local community.

Results of the water sample tests have not yet been announced. The cause of the incident is still under investigation.

Read the original Chinese article