Environmental Protection Administration officials advised residents yesterday to boil tap water for roughly three minutes longer than normal in order to ensure safe drinking water.
Officials say residents should undertake the precaution for the next week or two. The measure is necessary because of the additional chloride which had been added to tap water supplies earlier in order to purify turbid river water.
Typhoon Bilis on Wednesday brought heavy rainfall to Taiwan, muddying river water and endangering water supplies.
In addition, officials at the EPA's Water Quality Protection Bureau suggested that building administrators sterilize water tanks inside buildings. Also, people should avoid drinking groundwater, officials said.
Muddy rivers have also caused water shortages in central Taiwan, leading Taichung officials to ration supplies.
According to officials at the Taiwan Water Supply Corporation (TWSC), the rationing will last until Sunday.
In southern Taiwan, TWSC officials closed two pumping stations in Kaohsiung County to avoid pumping turbid river water.
"We still can handle the situation. Consumers have no need to worry about the odor in tap water," said Tseng Hao-hsiung (
Tseng said that the odor was due to muddy rivers and not secretly dumped chemical pollutants.
Roughly 3 million residents in the Kaohsiung metropolitan area were left without water for days after chemical solvents were illegally dumped into the Kaoping River (
TWSC officials investigated the Chishan River (旗山溪) with prosecutors yesterday and found that greasy dirt had been dumped into the river. Prosecutors also found sludge mixed with unknown chemicals at Chiachang Brick Yard (
TWSC officials said they may ration water in Kaohsiung if samples of the sludge are found to be hazardous.
To avoid serious public health problems, the EPA yesterday told local environmental officials to conduct water sterilization work in communities that have suffered from flooding.
According to the EPA, the sterilization and waste disposal will be carried out immediately in several communities, especially those in mountain and low-lying areas, such as Tienliao (
In Kaohsiung, after receiving residents' complaints about odors from a nearby waste incinerator, environmental protection officials sampled water at the plant yesterday.
Cheng Ching-shan (
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