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Shenzhen sewage outlets pollute sea

All nine sewage outlets of the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen discharged excessive amounts of pollutants last year, deteriorating the quality of seawater around the bustling city that borders Hong Kong to the south, a government report said Thursday.

The amount of chemicals like ammonia and phosphate were found to have exceeded discharge limits at all of Shenzhen’s sewage outlets, said the report conducted by the city’s maritime bureau.

Water samples collected by the bureau also failed in the chemical oxygen demand test, usually taken to measure the amount of organic compounds in water, the report said.

The report did not provide causes for the sewage pollution.

It said red tides occurred four times last year in the sea around Shenzhen, spreading over an area of 57 square kilometers.

The seawater off Shenzhen’s west coast was “seriously polluted,” the report said, rating it on the bottom of the four-level national sea water quality index, which means the water is not fit for swimming, water sports, aquatic farming or industrial uses that come in close contact with human consumption.

Over the past three decades, Shenzhen, which currently has a population of 10 million, has developed from a fishing village to one of China’s most economically vibrant cities. The city’s growth was bolstered by government’s special pro-development policies for it and its geographic proximity to Hong Kong and export-oriented industries clustered in the Pearl River Delta region.

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