Officials in the coastal city of Da Nang have admitted that household waste has been discharged directly into the sea through a combined sewer system that also handles storm water.
The disclosure came days after local media reported that a large amount of waste had been discharged straight into the sea, near the outfall gates of the city's apparently inadequate sewer system.
Le Quang Nam, director of the environment department, at a meeting Wednesday said that household sewage has been carried directly into the sea through 29 gates along Nguyen Tat Thanh Street and 16 others on Hoang Sa and Truong Sa Streets.
He said the city uses a combined sewer system, in which household sewage is pumped into the same drains that receive storm water.
The city has installed a couple of sewage treatment plants to deal with the waste. Theoretically, only storm water will be discharged without treatment, but the system has failed during heavy downpours and overflows.
“It has been going on for many years,” Nam said, as cited by news website VnExpress.
He does not reveal the amount of sewage that ends up every day on local beaches, some of the most popular in Vietnam and the region.
People living around Thanh Khe Beach, which stretches 4.3 kilometers with nine outfall gates, said the beach is stinky with all kinds of trash, including dead animals.
Officials have pledged to come up with a more effective sollution to tackle the problem.
Da Nang is one of the favorite tourism destinations in Vietnam thanks to its beautiful scenery and luxury coastal resorts.
The city, the third largest in Vietnam, received 1.25 million foreign visitors last year, up 30 percent from 2014.