Thai Tuan Corporation, one of Vietnam's leading textile manufacturers, has been found polluting a Ho Chi Minh City canal with untreated wastewater, police say.
According to the Department of Anti-Environmental Crime Police's southern office (C49B), the Thai Tuan factory in District 12 was caught dumping untreated wastewater from its steamers into the nearby Tham Luong Canal via an underground pipeline on Wednesday.
The next day police also found red and black wastewater flowing directly from the factory into the canal.
C49B said initial investigations showed that all of the factory's dyeing machines have two valves one releasing wastewater to a treatment system, and the other leading to the canal via the underground pipeline.
At a meeting with C49B that day, Thai Tuan company leaders said every day the company uses 1,400 cubic meters of underground water for production.
However, the wastewater treatment system is only able to treat a maximum of 300 cubic meters of water per day, according to investigators.
The company said it prioritized treating water used for dyeing, while water used to clean dyeing machines and reduce heat from steamers is clean, so it isn't put through the treatment system.
Thai Tuan said that the water it released into the canal was black and red because a pipeline from a dyeing machine was recently damaged.
It was estimated that the company dumped some 660 cubic meters of untreated wastewater into the canal every day.
On Thursday, police ordered the company to dig up the underground pipeline, but it refused, saying regulations don't allow daytime excavations. However, it promised to close the mouth of the pipeline with concrete.
In the meantime, police collected samples of the wastewater for tests.