More than 40% of China’s drinking water in its rural areas is unsafe, the South China Morning Post reported, citing a national survey of drinking water and rural sanitation. The government survey was the first of its kind in the Chinese mainland. Over a quarter of the 6,948 water samples taken from 667 counties in 2006 contained excessive levels of micro-organisms such as coliform bacteria. Nearly three-quarters of rural water supplies come from underground sources, and 46% of underground water was found to be unsafe, while 40% of surface drinking water was unsafe. Only one in four rural households had toilets that met government sanitary requirements.