Garbage islands threaten China's Three Gorges dam  

Posted by Big Gav in ,

Scientific American has a report on pollution in the Three Gorges Dam - Garbage islands threaten China's Three Gorges dam.

Thousands of tons of garbage washed down by recent torrential rain are threatening to jam the locks of China's massive Three Gorges Dam, and is in places so thick people can stand on it, state media said on Monday.

Chen Lei, a senior official at the China Three Gorges Corporation, told the China Daily that 3,000 tons of rubbish was being collected at the dam every day, but there was still not enough manpower to clean it all up.

"The large amount of waste in the dam area could jam the miter gate of the Three Gorges Dam," Chen said, referring to the gates of the locks which allow shipping to pass through the Yangtze River.

The river is a crucial commercial artery for the upstream city of Chongqing and other areas in China's less-developed western interior provinces.

Pictures showed a huge swathe of the waters by the dam crammed full of debris, with cranes brought in to fish out a tangled mess, including shoes, bottles, branches and Styrofoam.

Some 50,000 square meters of water (more than half a million square feet) had been covered by trash washed down since the start of the rainy season in July, the report said. The trash is around 60 centimeters (two feet) deep, and in some parts so compacted people can walk on it, the Hubei Daily added. ...

The Three Gorges Dam is the world's largest hydropower project, and was built partly to tame flooding along the Yangtze, which killed over 4,000 people in 1998 and countless more over the centuries.

The Boston Globe has a set of images from an oil spill in Dalian in China as well - Cleaning Dalian Harbour.

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