The Taipei Water Department yesterday promised to make replacing lead pipelines in commercial zones with large numbers of dining establishments a priority, following criticism from the public and politicians.
KMT deputy caucus whip Lin Te-fu (林德福) said he has talked with Premier Mao Chi-kuo (毛治國) about funding to accelerate the replacement of the lead pipes, saying that Mao has promised to speed up the process through use of the Executive Yuan’s second reserve fund.
While the Taipei Water Department has made information available online, “there are people, especially older people, who are not Internet-savvy enough to search online to obtain the information they need,” KMT Legislator Lee Guei-min (李貴敏) said.
“I urge the department to be more proactive and follow the example set by Taiwan Water Corp, which plans to visit households that might be affected by the lead pipes,” she added.
Ministry of Economic Affairs Water Resources Agency Deputy Director Wang Ruei-de (王瑞德) told a news conference that the corporation, which is responsible for providing water to about 6,500 households affected by the lead pipes outside of Taipei, on Thursday next week would inform the affected households one by one and have water examined within one month.
“We will replace all of the lead pipes in Miaoli and Hualien counties by the end of this year, and all in Yilan County by the end of next year,” Wang said.
Aside from the information made available online, the department also plans to conduct door-to-door visits to inform residents affected by the lead pipes, Taipei Water Department Deputy Commissioner Chen Ming-chou (陳明洲) said.
“We are pretty sure that schools have all had their pipes replaced, and commercial areas with numerous restaurants will be our priority during the replacement project,” he said.
The national standard for lead content in drinking water is 10 parts per billion (ppb), Chen said, adding: “According to water quality test reports over the past 20 years, all areas have been meeting that standard.”
“The water in almost all [households] has been testing negative for lead content. If lead was detected, it was about 1ppb at most,” he added.
“We are in the 10th year of a 20-year plan to replace old pipes — regardless of their material — with stainless steel pipes. Until now, the order of replacement has depended on the severity of leaks,” Chen said. “We have already renewed approximately 2,000km of pipes over the past 20 years, of which 424km originally employed lead.”
Chen said the department has collected 150 water samples from across the city and will make the results of tests available to the public on Monday.
SAFETY RISK: The government is working to categorize countries based on their COVID-19 cases and prevention efforts, which would determine quarantine periods The government plans to rank countries based on their COVID-19 risks to determine how to treat tourists and other travelers from those nations once Taiwan reopens its borders, but it is still working out the categories, a top health official told lawmakers yesterday. “We would divide countries around the world into several categories. One category would comprise those countries with very few confirmed COVID-19 cases, such as New Zealand and Palau. Travelers from the countries in this category would only need to practice self-health management,” Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) told a Legislative Yuan seminar hosted by
China would attack Taiwan if there is no other way of stopping it from becoming independent, Chinese General Li Zuocheng (李作成) said yesterday. Speaking at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People on the 15th anniversary of China’s “Anti-Secession” Law, Li, who is chief of the Joint Staff Department of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Central Military Commission, left the door open to using force. The 2005 law is China’s legislative basis for military action against Taiwan. “If the possibility for peaceful reunification is lost, the people’s armed forces will, with the whole nation, including the people of Taiwan, take all necessary steps to
SECURITY CONCERNS: The Telecom Technology Center ran black-box tests for the Executive Yuan on devices and software from Chinese, US and South Korean firms Network devices from several Chinese manufacturers are insecure and allow personal information to be leaked, testing commissioned by the Executive Yuan has shown. A variety of devices and software, including apps, from Chinese, US and South Korean manufacturers that are used by government agencies at the central and local level were subjected to black-box testing — in which the functionality of an application is examined without knowing about its internal structure, an information-security official said yesterday on condition of anonymity. The Telecom Technology Center conducted the tests, which simulated cyberattacks, to determine their resilience to the attacks, the official said. The center
CASH BOOST: Foreign spouses with residency permits are also eligible for the coupons, which can be bought at post offices or linked to digital payment options Stimulus coupons for Taiwanese and foreign spouses with residency permits can be ordered starting on July 1 and can be used from July 15 to Dec. 31, the Executive Yuan said yesterday. Aimed at boosting domestic spending, the coupons worth NT$3,000 (US$100.04) are to cost NT$1,000. “For our consumers, this is a very good deal as they get three times as much value for their money,” Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) told a news conference in Taipei. While the coupons are to have a wide range of uses, including at department stores, restaurants, book stores, night markets, beauty and hair salons, hotels, and to