Wed, Sep 19, 2012 - Page 3 News List

New survey shows the waters of the Tamsui improving

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Polluted water trickles into the Tamsui River yesterday near the Zhongxiao Bridge, which connects Taipei City with New Taipei City’s Sanchong District, as the Environmental Protection Administration announced that the river’s water quality was at its best in 30 years.

Photo: Wang Min-wei, Taipei Times

Water in the Tamsui River (淡水河) has gone from being moderately polluted to lightly polluted and the water quality this year was found to be the best it has been in 30 years, the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) said yesterday.

The Tamsui River flows through Taipei and New Taipei City (新北市) — a sprawling metropolitan area with a population of more than 5 million people —and the waterway used to be notorious for its dirty water and foul odor, the administration said.

Currently, the wastewater sewage system connects 1.2 million households, with an additional 90,000 households added each year, the administration’s Department of Water Quality Protection Deputy Director-General Andy Shen (沈一夫) said.

The four sewage treatment plants that were located within the two metropolitan areas handle about 2 million tonnes of wastewater every day, the administration said.

It said that 34 interception stations have been established in areas without connections to the sewage network, but which see more, heavier polluted water discharges.

In addition, there are 23 on-site water treatment facilities that can deal with the wastewater discharged by about 250,000 people every day, Shen said.

Shen added that the facilities not only purify water, but also serve nature conservation and environmental education functions, including 40 riverside parks and wetlands that amount to a land mass 50 times the size of Daan Forest Park (大安森林公園).

Shen said the river sections with dissolved oxygen above 2 parts per million (ppm), have increased from 72 percent in 2002 and 82 percent in 2007 to 92 percent this year.

Those sections of the river classified as seriously polluted have been reduced from 21 percent in 2002 and 10 percent in 2007 to only 2.6 percent this year.

The EPA said that because of the improvement in water quality, the ecology survey results have also shown that fish species found in the river have increased from 56 species in 1986 to 87 species this year.

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