Pig Farm Waste Overflows into Southern River

VIET NAM - As a result of heavy rains last week, waste water from a pig breeding farm has polluted Thi Tinh River.
calendar icon 27 July 2009
clock icon 3 minute read

A breach in the dyke of a pig breeder's 7.7 hectare wastewater treatment lake on 25 July has discharged contaminated material into a river in Binh Duong Province, according to official sources.

Residents last week found the section of the Thi Tinh River flowing through Ben Cat District turning black and putrid with dead fish on the surface.

An investigation by the district's Department of Natural Resources and Environment (DNRE) and environment police discovered the breach in the dike built by San Miguel Pure Foods Vietnam Co.

The lake contains more than 233,000 cubic metres of wastewater.

The company blamed the breach on unexpectedly heavy rainfall.

"We still can't assess the damage suffered by nearby households at the moment," said Huynh Cong Du, head of the Ben Cat DNRE. "We are analysing samples from the river to assess the pollution level."

Mr Du said the assessment will finish by 31 July. The inspectors have asked the company to urgently repair the dyke and conduct regular examinations of its wastewater lakes.

The Ho Chi Minh City-based company has six breeding farms with 68,000 pigs, which discharge nearly 3,000 cubic metres of wastewater a day into two lakes for biological treatment before it is released into the river.

San Miguel is among 25 companies listed as leading environmental polluters in in Binh Duong last year, the online newspaper, VnExpress, reported.

Environment agencies have planned to carry out their final tests of the wastewater at the company next week to find out if it could be removed from the black list of polluting firms.

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