Earlier this month, police discovered 8 cargo ships, loaded up with around 4,000 tons of trash from Shanghai, in the process of dumping all that garbage on the shore of Lake Tai, where a massive pile of trash already sits. Officials now warn that all this filth may just contaminate the lake, which serves as a source of drinking water for millions living in Suzhou.
On June 5th, Suzhou city officials warned in a WeChat post that the location of water intake is only 2 km away from the garbage dump. If the dump contaminates the water, the drinking water of the whole city would be heavily influenced, reports Caixin. Hence, the local government said that it has taken measures to reduce pollution, including guiding streams away from the trash and isolating the trash with waterproof material. However, one resident has already reported that his or her well started to stink.
The local government claimed that no pollution was detected when it tested the water quality on July 4th.
Twelve people involved in transporting the trash and dumping it illegally have been arrested, while 6 more are out on bail and awaiting trial.
There remains some disagreements on whether the trash is from households or construction sites. While the Shanghai Greening Administration claimed that the dump consists only of construction waste, locals at Lake Tai told Xinhua otherwise. “We used machines to dig at the trash dump, and found mostly household trash below a 20-30 cm layer of construction waste,” they said.
Though we previously reported that over 20,000 tons of trash was at the dump, newer estimates say there are only 12,000 tons. So, that’s good news!
By Amy Yang