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Don't Drink the Water: Saigon's Untreated Waste Is Flowing Into Its Water Supply

If you're into drinking tap water, we hate to be the bearers of bad news but it's probably time to stop.

In fact, it was time to stop a while ago. While it's nice to imagine a Saigon filled with drinking fountains and clean, potable H2O, the reality is another story.

Associate Professor Dr. Bui Xuan Thanh of the University of Technology was kind enough to define Saigon's current water supply as qualified to “meet the needs of human life”, according to Tuoi Tre, however that's where the good news ends.

A recent study by the Institute of Environment and Natural Resources at the Vietnam National University reveals that Saigon's canals contain high levels of bacterial pollution as well as sewage, reports Thanh Nien. These waterways then flow into the Saigon River which, along with the Dong Nai River, serves as a main water source for Saigon's household tap water.

Of the 1.3 million cubic meters of household sewage produced daily in Saigon, only 186,000 cubic meters of this waste is properly collected and treated, according to Tuoi Tre. Across the city, over 85% of household sewage goes untouched.

“The city needs to eliminate these pollutants from the raw supply by investing in more sewage treatment plants, imposing better control on industrial waste treatment and stopping people from dumping waste directly into the waterways,” Associate Professor Thanh told the news outlet.

For their part, water supply officials maintain that the amount of organic pollutants in Saigon's water is “withing permitted levels”.

[Photo via Tin247]

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