Environment Ministry Investigates Pollution Caused by Industrial Wastewater Seepage Pits in Hebei

Zhang Ke / Yicai

2017-04-20

(Yicai Global) April 20 -- The industrial wastewater seepage pits formed years ago in Dacheng county, Langfang city, Hebei province near Beijing, have not been effectively governed, said China’s ministry of environmental protection (MEP) following a site inspection it made after a tip-off from the environmental protection organization.

The MEP confirmed yesterday the existence of pollution caused by seepage pits in Dacheng county and said it will supervise governance of pollution. An MEP official said that the two pits were formed through digging for years. The illegal dumping of waste acid in 2013 resulted in pollution in the water and soil inside the pits. Although the local officials assigned relevant departments to treat the polluted water, the treatment has yet to be completed till now, the ministry said.

Dacheng county government then immediately opened a bid, inviting two companies to treat the two sewage seepage pits, but the companies failed to meet the treatment requirements. The county government filed a lawsuit against one of the firms.

The MEP will cooperate with Tianjin municipal government to set up a joint investigation team and conduct site investigation on the sewage seepage pits in Xizhaizhuang town, Jinghai district, Tianjin, and announce the progress in a timely manner, it said.

Chongqing Liangjiang Volunteer Services Development Center disclosed that in Dacheng county, Langfang, Hebei and Jinghai district, Tianjin, there are multiple “hidden” seepage pits used to dispose industrial wastewater, among which the largest one about 170,000 square meters, equaling 21 football pitches, and the water in the pits is chromium-yellow and red, including a large amount of black sludge.

The PH value of the water is one to two, indicating strong acidity, shows the data from the samples obtained by the environmental protection organization. Such wastewater poses risks to public health as they can contaminate the underground water.

Follow Yicai Global on Facebook @yicaiglobal and Twitter @yicaichina.