Wed, Feb 18, 2004 - Page 2 News List

Officials say Kaohsiung's water is passing all tests

By Chiu Yu-Tzu  /  STAFF REPORTER , IN KAOHSIUNG

The quality of tap water supplied to residents in Kaohsiung City and Kaohsiung County has improved significantly since a major national project was completed late last year and the water supplier's performance remains steady, the Environmental Pro-tection Administration (EPA) said yesterday.

After completing an inspection of Taiwan Water Supply Corp's seventh district management department in Cheng Ching Lake, Kaohsiung County, EPA officials said that residents in the south could be confident of the quality of tap water.

"According to our local bureaus in the city and the county, samples of tap water taken in the past few months have all passed the test," said Ho Soon-ching (何舜琴), director-general of the EPA's Bureau of Environmental Sanitation and Toxic Chemicals Control.

Yang Shui-yuan (楊水源), manager of Taiwan Water Supply's seventh district department, said that the chloride level, turbidity and hardness of the tap water all met national standards.

To improve the quality of tap water in Kaohsiung, the central government budgeted NT$15 billion in 2001 to have intake points in Kaoping River moved upstream and to build three advanced treatment plants.

In the past, Yang said, the unsatisfactory quality of tap water in Kaohsiung could be attributed to excessive levels of chloride, which was added to water to kill bacteria. Sometimes the chloride caused the formation of trihalomethanes, which is thought to be a possible carcinogen.

"Now we use much less chloride. The samples we took tested negative for trihalomethanes," Yang said.

Wang Mao-sung (王茂松), director of Kaohsiung County's Bureau of Environmental Protection, said residents' confidence in tap water would be restored. Many residents buy filtered water from street vendors at the price of NT$10 for 20 liter.

Meanwhile, at a meeting conducted by the Ministry of Economic Affairs yesterday, officials said the drought in the north had been relieved by recent rains. Water levels at major reservoirs are satisfactory, officials said.

"What we have now can sustain us until the end of May," said Chen Shen-hsien (陳伸賢), director-gene-ral of the Water Resources Agency.

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