How Do China’s Industries Conceal Their Water Pollution?

Two members of Greenpeace on the Yangtze River near the Fushan Chemical Industrial Park of Jiangsu. (Image: via  Greenpeace)
Two members of Greenpeace on the Yangtze River near the Fushan Chemical Industrial Park of Jiangsu. (Image: via Greenpeace)

Since 2002, the non-profit environmental organization Greenpeace has launched an ongoing investigation into China’s industrial water pollution. Over the years, the investigation has exposed a variety of methods used by various industries to conceal their water pollution discharge. Here are some of the images that volunteers have captured during their investigations.

Through concealment, manufacturers across China make drained water look clean and unpolluted, but in fact, they use a camouflaged sewer tile to carry off sewerage secretly. Two sewers were found in Gao Ping Industrial Park, which is located in the Triangle town of Zhongshan City, Guangdong Province.

Two sewers

One of the sewers was draining wastewater in Gao Ping Industrial Park. (Image: via Greenpeace)

Greenpeace volunteers found this sewer tile when they were investigating in the vicinity of the Jilin Petrochemical Company. It was covered up with large plastic sheeting, so the discharge of sewerage was concealed.

Covered Sewers

Migrant workers told investigators that a sewer with a diameter of 2.2m had been buried in the bottom of the Songhua River, completely obscured from vision. (Image: via Greenpeace)

A chemical plant in Haimen Chemical Industry Park, located in the fishing village in Jiangsu, discharging wastewater into the Yangtze River.

Sewerage to Yangtze River

Greenpeace volunteer looking for outfalls along the river. (Image: via Greenpeace)

A sewer tile was draining toxic water under the cover of darkness.

draining toxic water under the cover of darkness

The pipe was inside a small river course next to the Zhongshan Guotai Ranzheng Company in the Gao Ping Industrial Zone, Zhongshan, Guangdong Province. (Image: via Greenpeace)

The sewerage of the chemical plant was discharged into the sea while the tide was flowing.

sewerage-discharged-into-sea

The photo was taken in Shangyu, Zhejiang Province. (Image: via Greenpeace)

When Greenpeace members were investigating water pollution in the Pearl River Basin, they found a sewerage pipe that was draining wastewater hidden in the woods.

sewerage pipe hidden in the woods

Sewerage pipe hidden in the woods. (Image: via Greenpeace)

A large amount of purple effluent poured out of the sewerage pipe, and directly flowed into the Fenghua River.

Fenghua River purple effluent sewage

This photo was taken at the Youngor Textile Industrial City in Yinzhou District, Ningbo City, Zhejiang Province, at about 5 a.m. (Image: via Greenpeace)

A sewer pipe near Fenghua River was draining late at night in the Ningbo Youngor Textile Industrial City.

Substituting one thing for another:

A toxic soup of chemicals flowing out of a sewage pipe at night into the Fenghua River. (Image: via Greenpeace)

A huge pipe continuously discharged effluent into the Qiantang River. After an investigation, the pipe was found to belong to the Shaoxing Water Treatment Development Co.

Huge sewer

Greenpeace found all kinds of carcinogenic substances in the waste water. (Image: via Greenpeace)

Greenpeace found carcinogenic substances in the waterfront of the Qiantang River due to the outfall from the nearby Xiaoshan Linjiang Sewage Treatment factory.

Sewage discharged to Qiantang River

Sewage discharged into the Qiantang River. (Image: via Greenpeace )

The wastewater from a chemical plant of Chongqing Wanzhou was found to have contaminated the Yangtze River.

waste color Yangtze River, WanZhou

Wastewater with of different colors is discharged at different times during a 24-hour period. (Image: via Greenpeace)

A paper mill in Yingkou City, Liaoning Province, was found to have discharged wastewater into the Liao River through a ditch from the mill.

wastewater-into-Liao-River

Untreated wastewater from a paper mill flowing into the Liao River. (Image: via Greenpeace)

An effluent pipe at the Yellow Sea coastline was found to be buried in the beach, extending into the deep sea.

sewage-extending into the deep sea

A sewage pipe extending into the Yellow Sea surrounded by dead aquatic life. (Image: via Greenpeace)

A pipe extending into the deep sea was found to have flowed into the sluice from upstream. The sluice belongs to the Ziya River, which is in Xian County, Hebei Province.

red sewerage Ziya River

Local residents said that the Ziya River and the groundwater have been polluted for over 20 years, but the local villagers still have to drink the groundwater. (Image: via Greenpeace)

This photo was taken at the Tianmashan Purification Station of Anhui Tongling, which is responsible for processing the sewerage from a gold washing plant.

gold washing plant sewerage water

The slogan sign in the image says: “Saving energy, reducing sewerage, starting from me”. (Image: via Greenpeace (China) )

The washing effluent from the Tianmashan gold mine was found to have flowed into the Yangtze River through the Heisha River.

pouring wastewater into Rivers

The factories nearby also pour their wastewater into the Heisha River. (Image: via Greenpeace)

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