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Ministry of Public Security investigates case of stinky tap water in Hanoi

Vietnamese Prime Minister has asked the Ministry of Public Security to quickly investigate the cause of contaminated tap water and the Song Da Water Investment JSC, which is the supplier of the unsafe water.

People queue for hours to take water from tanker for drinking and cooking (Photo: SGGP)

People queue for hours to take water from tanker for drinking and cooking (Photo: SGGP)

The PM wanted police to issue harsh penalties on violators and to report before October 25.
Moreover, the People’s Committee of the northern province of Hoa Binh must direct the water supplier to remedy the problem to stabilize residents’ life, according to the PM's request.
The company was also instructed to flush the system it uses, including tanks and distribution pipelines, and review its operations and water quality control equipment.
Additionally, the People’s Committees of Hanoi and Hoa Binh should have solution to replace contaminated water source to provide for residents.
The Ministry of Construction and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and local administrations should work together to check water supplier activities nationwide for ensuring safe water supply.
Under the direction, many households in districts Thanh Xuan, Ha Dong and a part of Nam Tu Liem, Hoang Mai, Cau Giay,Thanh Tri, Hoai Duc, Thanh Oai, Dan Phuong and Ung Hoa took water from Ha Dinh Water Supplier or registered to have safe water with local administrations.
Most of the residents in the districts decided to buy bottled water for drinking and cooking at the time. Under the People’s Committee’s direction, the Hanoi Safe Water Company’s fresh water tankers were ready to supply safe water to residents. People have been advised to use the tap water for washing clothes and bathing.
The culprit of contaminated tap water was used oil illegally dumped into an upstream section of the Da River and spread to the stream and Dam Bai Lake, which supply water for the company. Local authorities are hunting for a truck that reportedly dumped engine oil into a stream in the northern province of Hoa Binh.
Worse, after discovering that their water source was contaminated, the company increased the amount of chlorine, used to kill bacteria and other microbes in water treatment.
Accordingly, residents in these above-mentioned districts noticed the smells of chemicals and burning plastic in their tap water last week.
People's lives were turned upside down after the incident. They had to queue for hours to take water from tankers.
20 liter- water bottles of brands like Lavie, Laska, Aquafina, Vinh Hao, Kim Boi have been sold like hot cake as people flocked to buy bottled water from supermarkets and stores. Several stores insisted on a delay of two or three days.
Meanwhile, 5 liter and 1.5 liter bottles have been sold out resulting in higher prices of bottled water causing public concerns.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade yesterday announced the General Department of Market Management asked its sub-division to prevent such drastic bottled water price increases.

By PHAN THAO - Translated by ANH QUAN

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