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Nov 14, 2019 / 18:55

Hanoi seeks comment on plan to revive polluted river with river water

Hanoi Water Supply and Sewerage Company has proposed using the Red river’s water through a system of pumps to supplement West Lake and clean up the To Lich river.

The Hanoi government is consulting experts on a scheme to take the Red river’s water to improve water quality of West Lake and the To Lich river which are severely contaminated, local media reported.

In the consultation meeting on November 13, General Director of Hanoi Water Supply and Sewerage Company Vo Tien Hung said that the above-mentioned scheme will be invested by the Hanoi People's Committee.

 A section of the To Lich river. Photo: Nguyen Duong

Hung added that after considering the options, his company proposed using the Red river’s water through a system of pumps and pressure pipes to supplement West Lake and dilute the To Lich river’s water, aiming to reduce the pollution.

To Anh Tuan, former director of the Hanoi Department of Planning and Architecture, said that the scheme is nothing new compared to the previous consulted versions and actually this idea was mentioned nearly 40 years ago.

In the early 2000s, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) proposed cleaning Hanoi city's waste water source at local treatment stations and then replenishing the To Lich river. Recently, Hanoi piloted a scheme to treat water of West Lake and the To Lich river with Japan’s nano technology. However, all of the above proposals have not been successfully implemented.

Therefore, To Anh Tuan stressed that the scheme of pumping the Red river’s water must prove its advantages in terms of cost, social and environmental impacts.

Besides, it is necessary to consider plans to exploit West Lake and the To Lich river to raise cultural and landscape values after they are cleaned, Tuan added.

West Lake and the To Lich river used to be branches of the Red river, which originates in China. However, due to historical changes, they are no longer naturally connected to the river. Urbanization and climate change in recent years have led to water shortage and pollution in the lake and the To Lich river.

Currently, rain is the only source of natural water for the lake and the river, they are also contaminated by household waste water.

Hanoi city has piloted a host of measures to revive its To Lich river which is dying due to heavy pollution and massive accumulation of mud in the river bed, including the application of Japanese and German technologies. Initially, positive results had been seen on the river thanks to these technologies; in particular, the river’s bad smell has been reduced and oxygen level in the river’s water has been raised.