China's environment watchdog pledges to close factories polluting Taihu Lake
China's main environmental protection body has vowed to close all
factories that are discharging pollutants into the Taihu Lake, which has been
hit by an algae bloom contaminating the drinking water of two million
The bloom of blue-green algae in the east China lake was caused by
natural factors and serious man-made pollution, said Zhang Lijun, deputy
director of the State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA),
He told a press conference that the content of nitrogen in the lake in
2006 was three times of that in 1996, while the content of phosphate pollutants
had increased by 1.5 times in the 1996-2006 period.
The algae bloom had
stemmed from persistent water pollution from industrial and household sewage,
helped by weather conditions in the area since April, Zhang added.
in the Taihu Lake resulted in the suspension of tap water supplies to two
million people in Wuxi City.
Workers have collected 6,000 tons of algae from
the lake, according to an environmental protection official of