Sat, Feb 24, 2018 - Page 8 News List

Making Taichung green and clean

By Honda Chen 陳鴻達

On Feb. 10 the Taichung City Government marked the completion of renovations to the historic Green River (綠川) that flows through downtown Taichung. The efforts were met with approval from city residents, but most of the applause was for the landscaping. Even more impressive was the overall planning.

In the past, as was widely known in the area, domestic sewage was discharged into the Green River and Taichung Park’s Sun Moon Lake — a pond naturally formed by the Green River — was stagnant and stank.

Under the renovation plan, domestic sewage is discharged to a newly established wastewater treatment plant that uses denitration and enhanced gravel contact. This facility, the first of its kind in the nation, was constructed underground, below Taichung’s Gancheng Park and Jianguo Market neighborhood with the help of the Environmental Protection Administration.

The facility can process up to 24,000 tonnes of wastewater per day. The clean water is then distributed back into the Green River and Taichung Park’s Sun Moon Lake, a creative aspect of the renovation plan.

As the facility was built underground, it has not impeded the park’s function as a recreational and resting space for the general public, another creative aspect of the renovation.

The part of the facility under Jianguo Market is to be accessible to the public via an underground observation corridor. When completed, people will be able to take a closer look at how wastewater is processed in the facility through observation windows.

Looking at sewage gradually turning into clean water, accompanied with information boards, will give people a better idea of how environmental protection works.

This educational aspect of the facility is another creative aspect of the plan. There have been criticisms of how long the renovation took, presumably because of subjective judgements over its appearance.

If people are made aware of the creative aspects behind the project, they would perhaps have a more favorable view of the local government, which has been careful and attentive in designing and planning the whole project.

Honda Chen is a senior secretary at the Environmental Protection Administration.

Translated by Chang Ho-ming

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