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Major Freshwater Lake Threatened in China

Pub Date: 13-08-19 08:16 Source: CNTV.cn

Chao-hu is one of China's five largest fresh water lakes. It is in East China's Anhui province and covers an area of more than 700 square kilometers. Since the 1970s, Chaohu lake has been threatened by a blue green algae growth. The current Chinese heatwave has led to another outbreak.

The algae is very thick here, making the water seem like green paint. It stretches out from the river bank into the center of the lake for at least four hundred meters. The hot weather is rotting the algae and the air has a bad smell. People living nearby have suffered for decades with the stench.

Wang Yongshu, resident, said, "Whenever the weather is hot, the algae comes out."

A fisherman said, "It smells really bad. The whole lake is rotten."

Each year between June and September the blue-green algae becomes active. The local environmental protection bureau has been monitoring its growth for some time.

Liu Hui, director of environment protection bureau, Hefei, said, "This year's outbreak started last week. The algae is very thick in many places."

Contaminated water causes the fish die out near the shore. Local fishermen have to fish several kilometers away from the shore. They also have to stop drinking filtered lake water.

A team of a hundred people is busy working now to remove the algae. 63-year-old Wang Yongshu volunteered to join the team. Growing up beside the lake, he has a special attachment to it.

Wang Yongshu, volunteer, said, "I have been helping remove algae for three or four years. Each year I hope it will become less, but hoping doesn't help. We all feel relieved this year though because the algae is less than before."

So far, removal is the only solution. Begining every June, six hundred tons of algae are carried away on a daily basis. And the work will last until September.

Editor: Rita

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