Assignment 4: Funan River pollution circumstance

When learning the equilibrium state about a system, in the class we discussed some examples of simple pollutant lake. This time I want to figure out a real life problem about a river in my hometown. Funan River is across the whole my city and the water is polluted since the manufacturing factories were constructed around 1966. In recent 15 years, the municipal government invested a lot of money and time to reduce the pollutant level of Funan River. It seems that the investment is worth to some extents. The dark and smelly water in 1995 becomes green and no smells gradually. So I want to do some researches and figure out what is the water quality at current time.

According to the report Environmental Protection Summary of Chengdu City published by Chengdu’s environmental protection agency at 2011, the whole Funan River is divided into several parts to test the water polluted level. The test showed that in first part of river which just enters the city the quality of water can be classified as level III. It means the water quality actually reached the national standards. The polluted condition is not several in this part of river. But in the part where Sha River and Jin River join together, the test showed that the water quality should be classified as level V which means the polluted level is high. More than 10 months in a year, the water quality of this part can’t reach the national standards. Let’s focus on this part of Funan River.

First of all, where does the pollution come from? On both sides of this part of river, there are several production plants and residence areas. Both the industrial sewage and domestic sewage are discharged into this part of water. Then what type of pollution in the river would damage the river and nearby citizens most? Phosphorus – the chemical element P is one of the main reason which causes the deterioration of water quality. The high density of phosphorus will increase the reproduction of algae. And many compounds which contain the phosphorus will form the sediment in the river. Many aquatic plants and animals would die if they absorb too many phosphorus. More important, phosphorus’s organic derivatives are most toxic to human beings.  The effects are like the nerve gas. Human’s body can’t tolerate too many phosphorus inside. Therefore reducing the concentration of phosphorus in river is very crucial.

Now, you have enough background information about the seriousness of phosphorus. What’s the density of this particular pollution type in Funan River? According to the report Phosphorus Distribution at the Sediment-Water Interface of Funan River at 2008. The density of phosphorus in this part of river exceeds both the international standard and national standard by a lot. The international accepted critical level is TP: 0.02 mg/L. And the national surface water quality standard set the limit Class V as 0.2 mg/L. However, the test on this part of river, the average concentration is 2.14 mg/L which is 200 times more than the international standard. You can find how serious the problem was at 2008. But the good news is that from the latest update of Chengdu Environmental Protection Agency, the concentration of phosphorus is reduced to around 0.96 mg/L at the most severe part of river. Even though it’s still exceeding the both standards by a lot, things are turning good.

Overall, the City’s Environmental Protection Agency has done many good works at the pollution reduction of Funan River, the task is still pretty heavy. The city’s government still needs to enact more policies on the reduction of the pollutant in the river. I hope in the future, we could not only meet the standard which is set by our country, but also meet the international standard. I believe at that time, every citizen will enjoy the benefits of a river across the city.

Below are some pictures of Funan River. Hope they can give you a good understanding of it.

funan 1

funan 2

funan 3

Sources: 1. It contains the basic information about the Funan River pollutant reduction.

2. This is the documents about the relevant policies and behaviors to reduce the pollutant of Funan River.

3. This is the current situation and regulations of the Funan River. The report about the phosphorus concentration in Funan River

Fit together: Generally I can get necessary information and numbers from source 1 to get the idea how much pollutant is reduced and in what rates. Then source 2 and 3 are helpful to understand how the pollutant is reduced.

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