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Tap water supply resumed after manganese contamination in S China town

08-05-2010 08:42 BJT Special Report:China Fights Worst Flood in Decades |

GUANGZHOU, Aug. 4 (Xinhua) -- Tap water supply was resumed Wednesday in a south China town after a manganese contamination had led to drinking water shortage for 13,000 people since Monday.

Local authorities in Lufeng City, Guangdong Provinceon Wednesday installed three temporary pipes to be connected to another local tap water plant that was not affected by manganese, amid efforts to ease drinking water shortage for residents.

The city government said the manganese level in the contaminated tap water provided by a local supplier in Da'an town was 1.2 mg per liter since Monday, 12 times the maximum amount allowed in drinking water.

The cause of the contamination was still under investigation and environment specialists from Lufeng City were in town to conduct further analysis, said Huang Xianjia, a city government spokesman.

According to the safety standards for drinking water, jointly issued by the Ministry of Health and the Standardization Administration in 2007, the maximum manganese level allowed is 0.1 mg in every liter of drinking water.

Huang said the contamination was "not serious." "Tap water still appears clear with no odor. It's safe for washing and bathing."

But a resident surnamed Wang showed reporters two pails of water he stored on Monday. Dark sediment was seen clearly on the bottom of the pails.

"It takes time for the mineral to settle and become visible," said Wang.

Wang and his neighbors have joined a rush for spring water in mountains near their homes. "Many families have bought new pails. Some carry water on motorbikes while others use shoulder poles," he said.

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