RCEES contributes to the treatment and control of arsenic pollution in Dasha River
Dasha River, which flows through Henan and Anhui provinces with more than 100 kilometers, was seriously polluted due to the accidental discharge of wastewater with high arsenic concentrations from an industrial factory in Minquan County, Henan province. The arsenic concentrations were as high as several miligram per liter, and several times higher than that of the standard for the surface water (i.e., 0.05 mg/L). This accident brought great trouble and risks on the production and habitation along the river, especially on the drinking water security of some cities.
Shortly after the accident, RCEES organized a committee of scientists and engineers to discuss the strategy to deal with it. The Water Purification Group, which is headed by Prof. Qu Jiuhui, has devoted to developing technologies for the arsenic removal from drinking water in the past decade. Based on their previous research and the terrain characteristics of Dasha River, Prof. Qu brought forward the general process and guideline for arsenic treatment and pollution control. The group finished the engineering design in 3 days. This innovative process and strategy were immediately adopted by the government of Shangqiu City. On Nov. 4, 2008, RCEES expedite a group of expertises lead by Prof. Qu to cooperate with the engineers and technicians in Shangqiu for the design, construction, and operation of this system. On Dec. 7, 2008, the arsenic concentration in the effluent was satisfactorily below the regulatory level (i.e., 0.05 mg/L), and the system was continuously used to treat the arsenic polluted water in Dasha River. In addition, RCEES also promoted corresponsive strategies to treat other polluted rivers (e.g., Tao River, Xiaobai River) and the Minquan Municipal Wastewater Treatment Plant. Until Jan. 10, 2009, 8.96 million cubic meter water in Dasha River, 400 thousand cubic meter water in Tao River, and 415 thousand cubic meter water in Xiaobai River, have been successfully treated.
Arsenic is an element with acute and chronic toxicity which could cause bellyache, diarrhoea, vomit, skin cancer, and lung cancer. The treatment and control of arsenic pollution in water environment is challenging, and there still lacks successful case and demonstration in the world that may be used to treat the arsenic pollution in rivers and lakes. Prof. Qu and his group have devoted themselves to As treatment in the past decade, and have developed several technologies and gained great achievements in this field. The successful application of these technologies in Dasha River is one of the distinct cases of arsenic pollution treatment and control in river in the world.