250,000 households in Hanoi's Thanh Oai and My Duc districts are having to use contaminated water.The locals there use water provided from the communal water stations which do not meet the standards for drinking water issued by the Ministry of Health. As a result, many people actually have to store rainwater and dig wells. But even these sources of water are also running out.
The water station in Xuan Duong Commune was put into operation since 2013 with VND10.2bn (USD438,300) of investment. Nguyen Thi Xinh, a local in Xuan Duong, said the water smelled like it contained a huge lump of steel.
She said, "At first, I thought it was just me and someone tried to prank me. But turned out, the water was like that everywhere. It can't be used even after boiling."
Xinh and other people filed complaints many times but they haven't received any feedback. In the end, Xinh had to buy a RO water purifier for VND6m (USD257) which cost a huge amount of money for most farmers in this area. Thousands of people often pray for rain so that they can have cleaner water for daily activities.
The water heavily contaminated
The same situation is also detected in Phuc Lam Commune, My Duc District. Each household often has two to four wells. Dam Trong Song said he had six wells. Despite the high number of wells, there was not much water. According to Song, his family used the pumps in the morning and the afternoon. Yet sometimes they didn't have enough water for daily activities. Not to mention the money spent on well digging and the electricity bill to operate the pumping system costs about VND1m (USD43).
Most households there had to buy RO water purifiers. Some people installed filter tanks with sand, gravel and activated carbon. But the water is so contaminated that the filter broke down after two months.
People that can't afford to dig wells or buy water purifiers carry barrels to ask for water from neighbours every day.
Hanoi People's Committee proposed adjusting the capital water supply planning to 2030 with a view to 2050Hanoi Department of Construction confirmed that four districts in the city's southern area which are Chuong My, Ung Hoa, Thanh Oai and My Duc, have a population of 1 million people but they are not connected to the city's fresh water system. Hanoi People's Committee has reported to the Ministry of Construction to fix the problem by adjusting the capital water supply planning to 2030 with a view to 2050.
The adjusted plan will include the construction of Xuan Mai Water Plant which will provide water to the whole southern area. It will run along the Da River Water Plant to ensure water security in case one of the two plants has problems.
Le Van Du from Hanoi Department of Construction, said, "The Ministry of Construction has submitted the adjusted plan to the prime minister. However, the Hanoi People's Committee and the Ministry of Construction still have some disagreements over the content of the plan."