In a bid to improve water quality and eliminate dengue fever breeding sites, the Taipei City Government yesterday announced that it would start monitoring the performance of septic tanks across the city.
Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Liou Ming-lone (劉銘龍) said the agency would require 962 buildings more than five stories high and overseen by a management committee to clean their septic tanks once a year starting next year.
Liou said the policy complements the city’s river restoration efforts to improve the water quality along the Tamsui (淡水河), Sindian (新店溪) and Keelung (基隆河) rivers.
He said that septic tanks that are cleaned regularly have a longer service life and on average show 51 percent functionality, while those that are not cleaned become virtually dysfunctional, showing only 3 percent functionality.
He said that with the percentage of households and businesses in Taipei connected to the public sewage system exceeding 74 percent, the number of buildings whose septic tanks are monitored by the city government has declined from 1,818 in 2002 to 511.
According to the new regulations, management committees are to submit invoices documenting that work to maintain the tanks has been conducted, while residents who do not comply could be fined between NT$1,200 and NT$6,000 under the Waste Disposal Act (廢棄物清理法), he said.
Septic tanks are connected to rainwater drainage pipes beside roadways and can become breeding sites for dengue fever-transmitting mosquitoes if their outflows are not properly treated, Liou said.
However, as the rule only targets registered buildings with management committees, it means that septic tanks at about 30,000 buildings, or 26 percent, that do not meet the requirements would not be listed as controled by the city government.
Depoartment head Tang Chen-hsiung (唐振雄) said the agency would dispatch inspectors to buildings to check the state of their septic tanks and ask residents to make improvements if necessary.
Taipei City Councilor Wang Hao (王浩) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Monday called for security improvements to the MRT, as fare evasion has increased more than 13-fold on the metropolitan railway system over the past five years. Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) has spoken out against fare evasion and other contraventions of MRT regulations, but since he took office in 2015 the number of contraventions has more than doubled, Wang said, adding that there were 537 cases in 2015 compared with 959 last year. A video was posted to YouTube in June showing people how to evade paying a fare,
FEELING MISUNDERSTOOD: Media speculation has fueled confusion about the KMT’s reasons for skipping a Chinese forum and delaying an AIT meeting, party sources said The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Sunday said that it is not seeking to improve relations with the US or China at the expense of the other, and that its relations with the countries would be topic-based. The party has faced questions over its foreign policy after it on Monday last week announced its withdrawal from the annual Straits Forum and delayed planned talks with the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT). The party has also taken a tough stance on the importation of US meat containing ractopamine, while also lambasting China for increasing its military activity in and around the Taiwan Strait. Following
FATAL FIRE: The health department is trying to contact the inspector who visited the site of the illegal nursing home to ask why they did not advise follow-up checks The Taipei City Government yesterday said that a health department inspector last year had visited the site of a long-term care facility in Neihu District (內湖) after receiving a report questioning its status. A fire broke out at the facility on Tuesday afternoon, killing three people. The Taipei Fire Department said that it received a report about a fire on the first floor of a four-story residential building on Kangning Road Sec. 1 at 2:38pm on Tuesday, firefighters arrived at 2:43pm and the fire was put out by 3:07pm. The firefighters found three men in beds and rushed them to hospital for
Yuchi Township (魚池) fishers have appealed to the Nantou County Government for help in dealing with an invasive fish species in Sun Moon Lake (日月潭), where it has devastated the local ecosystem. Fishers at Sun Moon Lake have been using electrofishing in an attempt to eliminate the giant snakehead fish — found in Africa and Southeast Asia — but they have struggled to keep up with the growing population of the species, which breeds during September and October, the county government said on Monday. The county has contacted researchers at National Tsing Hua University, saying it hoped they could come up