The nation’s tap water meets international drinking water standards, state-run Taiwan Water Corp (TWC) said yesterday, addressing concerns over reports of high levels of aluminum in the water at some treatment plants.
Media reports said that the levels of aluminum in the water at 18 of the country’s 59 treatment plants were recently found to be above 0.15 milligrams per liter, a safety standard -proposed by the WHO.
Most of the water treatment plants containing excessive levels of the metal are in southern Taiwan, the reports said, citing the results of tests commissioned by TWC and conducted by National Cheng Kung University (NCKU).
However, TWC said that except for the Nanyu plant in Greater Tainan, all of its treatment plants tested below the WTO-proposed level for aluminum and that the NCKU water quality report was released a year ago.
TWC president Chen Fu-tien (陳福田) said the company had also commissioned Chia Nan University of Pharmacy and Science to explore ways of improving the quality of drinking water nationwide.
That study is expected to be completed within two years, Chen said in a report to the legislature’s Economics Committee.
In a scene straight from the movie Erin Brockovich, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Yang Chiung-ying (楊瓊瓔) asked Chen during the session to drink a glass of water to prove its safety.
Minister of Economic Affairs Shih Yen-shiang (施顏祥) also said the water quality in Taiwan met international safety standards and that the aluminum levels were below 0.9 milligrams per liter, the latest recommendation issued by the WHO last year.
Nonetheless, TWC would try to reduce the amount of aluminum used in its water treatment procedures, Shih said.
Most of the aluminum used for water treatment is removed at the plants before the water reaches consumers, TWC said.
At present, the Environmental Protection Administration has no regulations on the quality of drinking water.