The Suzhou Creek restoration project has reached its third and final phase, and it looks like they saved the best for last. Those of you lucky enough to live on the banks of our recently renovated waterway will be privy to an exciting six-month dredging project, whereby 12 boats will dig up around 1.3 million cubic meters of industrial sludge, sedimentary sewage goo, and possibly a few bombs left over from the Second Sino-Japanese War.
This 14 billion yuan water treatment project began back in 1998, and has been responsible for, among other things, getting rid of the smell that once made the creek famous. Sewage is no longer flowing into the creek, and water purity (if you can call it that) has been improved to the point where fish have began once again populating its waters.
But this new phase will temporarily undo some of that progress while they try to remove mud from the canal for the first time since 1949. 140 barges will be on hand to ferry the goo away, and while they promise not to leave it on the riverbanks over night, authorities do warn that “people living along the creek or passing by might notice a temporary bad smell during the operation, especially on warmer days.” I guess that’s one good reason to stop complaining about the cold.
The mud will be shipped down toward our poor Minhang brethren, to a facility designated for the purpose. Out of sight, out of mind right? They were originally planning to somehow turn the mud into bricks, but apparently it costs too much to make them un-gross enough.
Firefighters will remain on standby in case they find any bombs left over from the War of Resistance (1937-1945). They dug up a few shells in the past, but insist that none of them could explode after such a long time underwater. (…so why the firefighters?)
At long last, it looks like we might finally get our Suzhou Creek cruises come June, as long as Shanghai restaurants and barges can refrain from illegally dumping all their crap into it.