Contamintaion in water - a serious problem

China's Lanzhou Warns Drinking Water Contains Dangerous Levels Of Benzene. Residents in the Chinese city of Lanzhou rushed to buy bottled drinks on Friday after authorities said benzene, a cancer-inducing chemical, had been found in tap water at 20 times above national safety levels.

The water supply was turned off in one district, and officials warned citizens not to drink tap water for the next 24 hours.

"Lanzhou has shut down the contaminated water supply pipe and deployed activated carbon to absorb the benzene," local authorities said in a statement.

The water supply company, Lanzhou Veolia Water Co, is majority-owned by the city government, with Veolia China, a unit of French firm Veolia Environnement, holding a 45-percent stake.