Learn how the World Bank Group is helping countries with COVID-19 (coronavirus). Find Out

China: Pollution Control Combined with Increased Treatment to Bring Cleaner Water for Liuzhou Residents

April 9, 2013


Four wastewater treatment plants with associated pumping stations and sewer networks were built, increasing the total wastewater treatment capacity in Liuzhou City to 500,000m3/day. watch slideshow

World Bank Group

The World Bank assisted Liuzhou City in western China to improve its urban environment by supporting regulatory reforms of industrial wastewater pollution control and financing priority investments in sewerage networks, wastewater treatment plants, public toilets, a solid waste transfer station and waste collection stations, ensuring cleaner water for its 1.2 million residents.


The city of Liuzhou, with about 1.2 million urban residents and more than 1,000 industrial enterprises, is the largest industrial center in China’s western Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.  In recent years, the environmental condition of Liuzhou deteriorated as a result of fast industrialization combined with rapid urbanization.  The Liujiang River, the main water source for industrial, commercial and domestic use, suffered from pollution from untreated sewage and rainwater flows.

The shortage of well-maintained and reasonable distributed public toilets is another urgent municipal sanitary problem, which hinders the city’s modern development. In addition, there is a need to build more solid waste collection stations and transfer stations in the newly-developed residential blocks, and to purchase multi-function vehicles to collect and transport solid wastes.


The objective of the project was to improve environmental conditions in Liuzhou by improving wastewater treatment, industrial pollution control, municipal sanitation and solid waste services and management. The approaches taken included: developing autonomous public utilities and helping develop their institutional structures; introducing regulations and reforms of industrial wastewater pollution control; and investing in sewer networks, wastewater treatment plants, public toilets, one solid waste transfer station and waste collection stations.


Between 2005 and 2011, the project achieved the following main results:

  • Four wastewater treatment plants with associated pumping stations and sewer networks were built, increasing the total wastewater treatment capacity in Liuzhou City to 500,000m3/day. Today over 75 percent of wastewater discharge is treated—compared to 15 percent in 2005—which has helped maintain water quality at Class III in the downstream areas of the Liujiang River.
  • The first phase of the rehabilitation of Zhu’exi Creek, a tributary of the Liujiang River, was completed. Wastewater discharged into the creek is now intercepted and conveyed to a treatment plant; flood control capacity of the creek was improved; and in particular, the landscaping works changed the surroundings along the creek.
  • 42 public toilets and 30 portable toilets were constructed or installed with better maintenance.
  • A 450t/day solid waste transfer station was constructed, with capacity to process about 50 percent of the solid waste generated in Liuzhou City.
  • A comprehensive industrial pollution control action plan was implemented. Eight of the top 11 industrial polluters were forced to build dedicated wastewater treatment facilities.   Six of the seven heavy metal dischargers met the discharge standards, and the one that did not meet the standards was closed down.The Discharge Permit System is being executed. The system had issued more than 120 permits by 2011.
  • The establishment of Liuzhou Municipal Wastewater Treatment Co., Ltd (LMWTC) was an important milestone in the utility sector policy reform. The LMWTC took over wastewater management from the government.
  • The Liuzhou Environment Protection Bureau’s capacity was strengthened. It is now equipped with high-tech, on-line monitoring instruments and is executing the discharge permit and licensing system.
  • Since 2009, Liuzhou was awarded the “China Habitat Environment Prize” and named the “National Garden City” and one of the “China’s Energy Saving and Emission Reduction 20 Top Cities.”

Bank Group Contribution

The Bank provided an IBRD loan of US$100 million, combined with international knowledge and experience in environment, social development, procurement, water and sanitation, and financial management.

Moving Forward

Supported by an IBRD loan of US$150 million, the Liuzhou Environmental Management Project Phase II was launched in 2011 to expand the environment management activities in four counties, two districts, and core urban area of Liuzhou. The new project aims to increase wastewater collection and treatment rate to 85 percent in the greater core urban area and will introduce wastewater treatment to less developed counties. In addition, the project will support capacity building in managing urban environmental infrastructure assets and linking infrastructure investments to a broader environmental protection agenda via innovative urban planning and asset management tools.


As a result of the ongoing efforts by the government with support of the World Bank, the residents of Liuzhou have benefited not only from a protected drinking water source and improved water quality, but also from a continuously improving environment that has allowed them to swim in the Liujiang River again.

Of wastewater discharge is treated, up from 15% in 2005.