Among the 310 rivers in Shenzhen, more than half of them (173) are black, polluted and smelly, though authorities started treating the water a decade ago, an investigative report of Shenzhen Evening News said.
Almost all the rivers are seasonal and only five of them — namely the Shenzhen River, Guanlan River, Maozhou River, Longgang River and Pingshan River — cover an area of more than 100 square kilometers. Limited rainfall and large amounts of sewage discharged into rivers without being treated are blamed as major factors of the pollution.
The lack of sewage pipelines to collect wastewater for treatment is another reason for worsening water quality.
The city has built 4,268 kilometers of sewage pipelines and is still facing a shortage of 4,600 kilometers. Around 932,000 tons of wastewater is being discharged into rivers every day without treatment.
The Maozhou River, the longest in Shenzhen, is also the most heavily polluted river in the Pearl River Delta region. Shenzhen decided last year to spend 1.93 billion yuan (US$313 million) on an extensive cleanup of the Maozhou River that’s scheduled to be finished in 2015.