This year, the United Nations chose the theme of “Wastewater” for World Water Day (March 22), calling for a reduction in wastewater and reuse of water in a bid to ensure that everyone has access to safe water by 2030.
According to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, the country is currently home to nearly 300 industrial parks and 615 industrial clusters. Some 70 percent of the industrial parks and 5 percent of the industrial clusters have already built concentrated wastewater treatment systems.
More than 23 million tonnes of household garbage, 7 million tonnes of industrial solid waste and 630,000 tonnes of hazardous waste are discharged into the environment each year. However, with only 458 landfills, 337 of which are unhygienic and lack collection and waste treatment systems. Over 100 small-scale incinerators are likely to emit toxic gas such as dioxin and furan.
The total volume of wastewater discharged from industrial parks nationwide exceeds 3 million cu.m per day, 70 percent of them are untreated and directly discharged into the nature, causing serious consequences.
Last year, the Prime Minister agreed upon a plan on adjusting orientations for the development of water drainage systems in urban and industrial areas until 2025 with a vision to 2050. The plan points out the need to build safe and sustainable water drainage systems, improve retreatment of wastewater and rainwater and treatment technology, upgrade and repair of eco-friendly and energy-saving pipeline systems, among others.
In the near future, State management agencies need to raise public awareness of environmental protection as well as social responsibility of citizens and businesses in this field.
They are also required to strengthen inspection and monitoring of environmental issues while working closely with concerned units to promptly discover and deal with polluters. At the same time, they must improve the capacity of their staff and provide them with modern technical equipment for the effort.
The plan also suggests the building of long-term environment management projects and application of technological advances in monitoring the environment.
In industrial parks, it is a must for infrastructure developers to construct concentrated wastewater collection and treatment systems before being authorized to operate.
Master plans and investment projects will be publicized, making it easier for individuals and organisations to give feedback on their impacts on the environment.
The government and industrial parks have to pioneer in overseeing, adjusting and implementing policies to minimise hazardous waste.