Locals at Hoa Tien 2 Village in Da Nang City are accusing a local hot-dip galvanising factory of discharging untreated wastewater and killing the rice fields and livestock.
Wastewater stored in the back lot of the factory
Dang Van Hao, head of Hoa Tien 2 Village Cooperative in Son Nam Village, Hoa Tien Commune, said dozens of households depend on the four hectares of cultivated lands in this commune. They can also raise lotus flowers and ducks for additional income.
"But since late 2016, our crops either don't grow or die. Fish and ducks have also died en mass," he said.
All 500 ducks of Dang Quang Dang, a local in Nam Son Village, died in a few days.
According to the locals, a hot-dip galvanising factory of TDT JSC, which was built last June, is just 2km away from the fields. They accused the factory of discharging untreated wastewater and causing pollution.
"We are sure that the factory is the culprit because it's the only working factory in the adjacent area between Hoa Tien Commune and Dien Tien Commune in Quang Nam Province.
There are two open wastewater tanks and a two-metre deep outdoor pit full of wastewater.
Nguyen Hoang Chuong, manager of the factory, said the wastewater must cross the fields surrounding the factory before it can go anywhere further, however, the growing rice and livestock near the factory didn't die.
"We discharge a small amount of wastewater. In addition, we have wastewater treatment system. The wastewater is stored in the back lot of the factory. But maybe when there are heavy rains, the water in the tanks may overflow," he said.
In late 2016, the villagers already complained to Danang Department of Natural Resources and Environment about the pollution. The department sent an investigation team and took water samples for tests.
Results showed that the iron and zinc levels in the canal near the factory were 2.3 and 2.9 times higher than national standards. The iron level in the rice fields was 0.4 times higher than the standards.
Dang Quoc Tuan, vice chairman of Hoa Tien Commune, confirmed that polluted water was killing the rice fields and livestock but they hadn't found out the cause of the pollution. As the factory is located in Dien Ban Commune, they have already asked the authorities of Dien Ban Commune to inspect the factory.
"We requested an inspection last year and asked the factory to treat the wastewater carefully so that it would meet all requirements before discharging into the environment. But Dien Ban Commune authorities haven't responded," Tuan said.