Despite some improvements in To Lich River water quality, many experts are still expressing doubts.
To Lich is being cleaned up
To Lich along with Kim Ngu, Lu and Set rivers form the main drainage system for the capital city. However, the rivers have been heavily polluted. Hanoi authorities started using Japanese bio-nanotechnology to clean the To Lich River. Nhat Viet Environment Improvement JSC is assigned to carry out Japanese-funded To Lich cleanup project.
The equipment includes an aerator that employs nanotechnology to quickly treat water using natural materials. The Japanese experts said the river's stench would reduce significantly within just three days. The project was implemented on May 16.
According to the Institute of Environmental Technology, they took samples for testing on May 20 so the detail results haven't been released yet. However, the initial assessment shows that the water quality has been improved and the smell at To Lich River has become more bearable.
Truong Van Viet, an employee at Nhat Viet Environment Improvement JSC, said the equipment operated smoothly so far. "At first, we couldn't even see the river's bed and there was a layer of scum on the surface. But now we can finally see the riverbed," he said. "But the water colour is still blackish and other sections have a scum layer."
Many experts have expressed doubts over the project's effectiveness.
Dr Nguyen Van Khai said such technology was only suitable for small lakes. To Lich River is 14km long and wastewater is being discharged daily into the river. This is not a long-term solution because the number of equipment and materials needed for the whole river will be high. Moreover, the equipment only deals with the smell and colour of the water, leaving out the mud and rubbish on the riverbed.
Bui Thi An, head of the Institute for Resources, Environment and Community Development said the authorities should consider the details carefully before applying the plan universally to avoid wasting money. According to An, the long-term solution is to have a better drainage system to deal with household wastewater.
Hanoi Sewerage and Drainage Company Director Vo Tien Hung also agreed that the plan may not be effective.