An abnormal change in tap water quality was found at Greater Kaohsiung’s Gaoping River (高屏溪) yesterday with a marked bad odor, leading Taiwan Water Corp (TWC) to announce a sudden shutdown of the water supply, affecting 12,000 households.
The move also affected another 20,000 households whose water pressure dropped.
The incident yesterday was the third time this year, after incidents in January and last month, in which water from the Gaoping River Weir was found with sudden increased levels of total organic carbon (TOC), resulting in emergency water supply shutdowns in areas of Greater Kaohsiung.
Although the bureau at the time suspected the reason to be water contamination, the source of the pollution was not found.
Chuang Mao-sheng (莊茂勝), deputy manager of the TWC’s Seventh Branch, said the corporation detected the abnormality at 5:30am yesterday and the water’s bad odor level was measured at 20, so it immediately established an emergency response center and decided to shut off the water supply and reduce pressure from 1pm yesterday to 11am today, to ensure safe water quality.
The areas that faced the temporary shutdowns included Renwu (仁武), Dashe (大社), Zuoying (左營), Fengshan (鳳山) and Chishan (赤山).
The corporation said it reported the case to the police and government agencies to increase monitoring of the area, he added.
Greater Kaohsiung Environmental Protection Bureau Director-General Chen Chin-der (陳金德) said inspectors did not find any abnormalities when they checked the site after receiving the report, and inspectors suspected that the cause of the abnormality may be humus from the dry season being washed into the river by rain.