Wed, Sep 05, 2007 - Page 2 News List

EPA decries heavy pollution in section of the Dahan River

By Shelley Shan  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) said yesterday that the section of the Dahan River (大漢溪) between Fuchou Bridge (浮州橋) and Jiangzicui (江子翠) in Banciao (板橋) is the most contaminated in the Tamsui River Basin (淡水河流域).

Leu Horng-guang (呂鴻光), director general of the EPA's Water Quality Protection Department, said the department had tried to catch fish along the section on seven occasions between 2005 and last year and that on three occasions came up empty-handed.

The fish they caught on the other four trials were species that can survive in polluted environments, he said.

Leu said the water in that section was found to contain a high density of suspended solids, giving it a muddy appearance. The suspended solids were likely to affect the gills of fish and make survival difficult.

Exploring the sources of pollution, the department found that sandstone plants in Taipei and Taoyuan counties were pouring wastewater directly into the river, he said.

Leu added that the density of suspended solids had dropped from 24,600 milligrams per liter (mg/l) in January to 2,760mg/l in June after the Taipei County Government penalized the sandstone plants for illegal emissions.

There is still room for improvement, Leu said, as the EPA has set the limit for suspended solids at 100mg/l.

Leu said the government had reduced the level of polluted sections in the Tamsui River Basin from 12.8 percent in 1997 to 8.5 percent last year. It is aiming for levels below 4 percent by 2011.

The section from Chongyang Bridge (重陽橋) in Shilin District (士林) to Jiangzicui, near the main course of the Tamsui River, remains highly polluted.

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