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IRKUTSK, May 1 (Itar-Tass) — Water supply has started in the main pipelines of the Svirsk town and Mikhailovka settlement located in the zone of ·the incident on the Angara River where there was a spill of diesel fuel last week, the Irkutsk Region’s government reported with reference to governor Dmitry Mezentsev.
After the water intake restarting the pressure in the water pipeline is actually corresponding to the norm. “The schedule of water supply to the localities of the Cheremkhovo district that have been affected by the petroleum, products’ pollution on the Angara River meets the schedule, and according to the plan, the water supply to Cheremkhovo will be resumed later,” the report says. Cheremkhovo mayor Vadim Semenov explained to Itar-Tass that water would be supplied to the Cheremkhovsky pipeline in about 5 hours after the start of the pumping.
The water samples for the presence of harmful substances taken from the Angara River on Tuesday morning showed less than 0.1 mg per litre, that is, their content is below that allowed by Russian sanitary rules and regulations for drinking water.
Head of the Russian Federal Consumer Rights Protection and Human Health Control Service (Rospotrebnadzor) Gennady Onishchenko who visited the emergency area on Monday, allowed to open the local schools and kindergartens. Secondary education establishemnts will be opened on Wednesday, however, children in them will not get meals. Kindergartens, according to the Russian chief sanitary doctor, will also be opened on May 2, the water for them will be delivered in tank trucks.
Initially, water in the Cheremkhovo district of the region can only be used for domestic needs. Free bottled drinking water is currently delivered there, as in the previous few days.
The Irkutsk authorities could restore the Cheremhovo water intake on the Angara River after the April 25 incident only on the fourth attempt: the unstable exponential norm of the maximum allowable concentration of petroleum products did not allow them to resume the water supply earlier. According to Semenov, there was a slight excess the previous night. However, experts do not exclude the possibility that oil slicks can again drift closer to the Svirsk water intake.
On Sunday, the government of the Irkutsk Region denied information about the alleged getting of water contaminated with petroleum products from the Angara River to the Cheremkhovo water pipeline, as some electronic media reported. Commenting on this information, the region’s minister of housing policy, energy and transport Pyotr Voronin said that “this is absurd.”
More than 44 tonnes of petroleum products got into the Angara River on April 25 because of an illegal tapping into the local pipeline. The emergency response efforts are currently underway on the river. The cleanup operations are conducted with the high-quality activated carbon delivered to Irkutsk from China, the same coal is used in the filter cassettes installed on the water intake.