Wuxi pushes for water protection
Wuxi has carried out wide-ranging programs over the past several years to improve its water quality and create a better ecological environment.
These programs have included controlling the sources of pollution and cleaning the riverbed silt.
Yixing, a county-level city governed by Wuxi, invested 2.5 billion yuan ($ 380 million) on domestic sewage treatment in rural areas last year to reduce pollution.
In October 2017, Yixing signed a Public Private Partnership (PPP) agreement with leading water enterprises in the country to deal with sewage treatment at more than 3,000 villages in the city.
There are over 200,000 households in rural areas of Yixing, producing a massive 40,000 metric tons of sewage every day.
Renshu village at Dingshu town in the southern area of the city started a trial operation in September last year.
Over the years, the Renshu River, a river flowing into Taihu Lake, has been polluted by untreated domestic sewage from the homes of the village's population of 550.
"The construction of the village's underground pipeline network has almost been completed. Domestic sewage will be transported to sewage treatment plants through the pipelines, which will help reduce sewage discharge into water bodies and improve the water quality," said Cao Xiaoping, deputy head of Dingshu town in Yixing.
He noted that the total length of underground pipelines in the village is 5,820 meters, with an investment of 4.13 million yuan.
It is expected that all the villages in Yixing will be included in the sewage pipeline network in the next two years.
The program was part of the efforts of the Wuxi government to improve the water quality of Taihu Lake.
In the summer of 2007, large quantities of blue-green algae contaminated the local water supply for several days, affecting more than 1.5 million residents. In response, a number of programs were launched.
Since then, the restoration of rivers and lakes including the cleaning of the riverbed silt has steadily advanced.
"We started the silt clearing project in 2016 and cleaned six of the district's rivers last year," said Cao Hanshuo, deputy director of the bureau of housing and construction of Liangxi district in Wuxi.
Cao stressed that the district would focus on restoring the self purification ability of rivers to improve water quality.
"We have a supervision team consisted of more than 60 local residents; they will patrol along the rivers every day," said Cao, adding that the district would continue to carry out the "river chief" system to enhance supervision. According to the government work report released during the municipal people's congress, the Wuxi government will further improve the water quality by carrying out 150 key renovation projects on 24 polluted rivers.