On Tuesday top officials of Wuxi city drank boiled tap water to convince inspectors from Beijing the water quality of Taihu Lake has improved.
Yang Weize, secretary-general of the Communist Party of China's local commission, and Wuxi Mayor Mao Xiaoping met the group of fact-finders led by Zhang Yue, a deputy office director of the Ministry of Construction, at the Lakeside Hotel in Wuxi. According to the Yangtze Evening Post, the guests demanded to drink tap water instead of purified water.
Environment professor Zhang Xiaojian of Tsinghua University monitored the whole process of heating the tap water as it boiled on the stove. After the water was ready, Yang drank a glass first, then the rest tasted some and pronounced it as normal tap water.
Professor Zhang said he had been drinking tap water at the Wuxi water plant for several days. Yang thanked him for working on the water crisis, calling on citizens to learn from him and to trust scientific research.
From the end of May, an algae bloom contaminated the drinking water from Taihu Lake, the main water source of Wuxi. This affected more than two million people in the eastern city, as the water emitted a foul smell and was undrinkable.
The officials' effort to persuade the general public to drink tap water came after efforts to restore the tap water supply. On June 4, the Wuxi government announced health supervision departments had approved the tap water to be safe to drink, in an effort to calm residents' fears towards the contaminated water.