Category: Markets / Finance / February 26, 2013 9:35 AM EST
A leak at an oil products pipeline in Yongxiu County along the Yangtze River valley on Monday (February 25) forced local authorities to shut off tap water supplies to about 60,000 residents, state media said.
The pipeline is run by a subsidiary of Sinopec, one of China's two top oil companies, state media reported.
The water supplies were shut after a local water utility saw oil floating on the water surface near its intake on the Liaohe river, Chinese state news agency Xinhua said, citing the local environmental protection agency.
Chinese state television CCTV showed footage of local water personnel putting oil-absorbent mats on the water in a bid to clean sections of the affected Liaohe river.
"We are now putting oil absorbent mats in the polluted water. Then we take back the mats (full of) oil and put clean ones in the water. We will continue to do this for now," Cheng Yiming, deputy manager of the Yongxiu County water supply company said.
The oil products pipeline runs from the river port of Jiujiang to Zhangshu, in the southern part of Jiangxi province. The pipeline has also been turned off, Xinhua said.
Industrial water pollution is a recurring problem for growing Chinese cities in need of clean drinking water.
Early this year, drinking water in the northern industrial city of Handan was cut off following a chemical spill in a city upstream five days before.
(Video Source: Reuters)