Wed, Jul 16, 2014 - Page 4 News List

Dead fish inspire water worries in greater Taipei

By Sean Lin, Chen Wei-tsung and Tsai Ya-hua  /  Staff reporters

More than 1,000 dead fish that were discovered on Monday in Jingualiao Creek (金瓜寮溪), a tributary of a creek that runs into the Feitsui Reservoir in New Taipei City, sparked concerns over the safety of drinking water in the greater Taipei area, home to more than 5 million residents.

Water quality tests conducted jointly by the Taipei Feitsui Reservoir Administration, the Taipei Water Management Office and the Pinglin District Office later on the same day showed that both the acidity and oxygen content of the water in the reservoir are within normal ranges.

This indicated that the fish did not die because of bad water quality and that the water in the reservoir is safe to drink, officials said.

The dead fish were discovered in the lower reaches of Jingualiao Creek, 100m south of Lirenban Bridge, just before the creek joins with Beishih Creek, which runs directly into the reservoir.

A similar incident happened in August last year.

Local residents suspected that the incident on Monday might have been a case of poachers using a pesticide called rotenone to collect fish.

Cuku Borough (粗窟) Warden Wang Cheng-yi (王成意) said that the pesticide could have been used to obtain large quantities of fish with high economic value such as ayu — also known as sweet smelts — which breed from this month to September every year.

Officials with the Taipei Feitsui Reservoir Administration said that they have handed samples of the dead fish to relevant agencies for a comprehensive autopsy report to pinpoint the cause of death.

The administration has also dispatched personnel to clean up the rest of the fish, which are to be incinerated, officials said.

The officials said that even though the incident took place outside the reservoir, it has caused severe concern among residents of the Greater Taipei area.

To prevent such an incident from recurring, officials from the Taipei Feitsui Reservoir Administration said they have filed a report with the New Taipei City Police Department to start a investigation for possible suspects in the potential poaching incident.

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