Caixin
Apr 24, 2014 01:33 PM

Northwestern Chinese City Counts Cost of Major Water Pollution Scandal

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Worried residents of Lanzhou have cleared store shelves of bottled water


(Beijing) – A recent water contamination accident in Lanzhou, the capital of the northwestern province of Gansu, triggered panic amid revelations the city's facilities carrying drinking water have for decades run through areas shared by chemical plants.

In recent decades, the China National Petroleum Co. (CNPC) Lanzhou Petrochemical unit has reported a couple of accidents that caused oil leaks that likely allowed pollutants to seep into the ground surrounding the facilities that carry Lanzhou's only source of drinking water: the Yellow River. It was inevitable that the water running through the channels became polluted by the waste seeping into the ground.

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