When winter rolls around in Taiwan, few treats beat a dip in a hot spring, but until an official quality system has been implemented, consumers should carefully consider which springs they visit and choose places that offer a hygienic bathing environment, the Consumers' Foundation (
In the foundation's inspections in November and December, 40 percent of the hot-spring establishments in Taipei were found to have water containing levels of bacteria exceeding official standards.
"Eleven of the 29 hot-spring hotels or resorts failed the test. Excessive bacteria were detected in their samples, which means that the water has been polluted by excrement or dirt accumulated inside bathtubs," Hsieh Tian-jen (
"These proprietors should apologize to the public and make improvements immediately," he said.
Several self-proclaimed five-star hot-spring hotels were put on the foundation's black list,, including Landis Resort (
Pause Landis (璞石麗緻溫泉會館) in Wulai denounced the foundation's tests, although the center also failed to pass a water-quality inspection conducted by the Taipei County Government in November.
"Since few unqualified hot-spring owners care to make improvements, we appeal to the public to boycott those places, which has proven to be the best method" to force resorts to improve their water quality, said the foundation's chairman, Jason Lee (
According to Article 58 of the Consumer Protection Law (
The Spa Law (
Kevin Lo (
"Given the limited amount of natural hot water, recycling used water is acceptable and has been adopted in many countries. But proprietors must follow strict measures to carry out the recycling process and clearly display consumer information," Lo said.