Two companies in Taoyuan County were discovered to have discharged polluted wastewater into rivers on Thursday and Friday and have been served with fines and notices demanding they make improvements within a set period, the county government’s Environmental Protection Bureau said.
The bureau said that during its inspection in Lujhu Township (蘆竹) on Thursday, a company that manufactures coating chemicals including nitrocellulose, pigment, resin and others, was found to have discharged a large amount of wastewater, but that the discharge was temporarily halted when the inspectors were about to take water samples for testing.
After preparing testing equipment, the inspectors visited the company in the afternoon and tested the water from the gutter outside the factory discovering that wastewater in the plant’s drainpipe was high in acidity — with a pH level of 0.8.
Although the company explained it was because there was a crack in its underground wastewater storage tank, the bureau said it would issue a fine for violation of the Water Pollution Control Act (水污染防治法) because the acidic water had already polluted nearby areas in the ocean.
The discharge of water by the company has been prohibited and it has been told to improve before Monday, or else it will face daily fines and could be ordered to terminate operations.
After receiving a complaint, the bureau on Friday also made a on-site inspection at a section of the Shetzu River (社子溪) in Yangmei City (楊梅) and discovered highly acidic polluted water which may have be discharged from a dyeing company about a kilometer upstream from the reported site.
While the company claimed it recycles 100 percent of its wastewater, the bureau found the discharged wastewater in the factory to be at pH level 4.1.
The company would be fined at least NT$100,000 for violation of the pollution act and because it did not obtain a wastewater discharge permit required by regulations.
The bureau said it has demanded the company improve the situation before Tuesday or it will face daily fines.