Sun, Jul 01, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Japanese-era water plant to open soon

By Wu Chun-feng and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporters, with staff writer

The water purification facility at the Tainan Waterway, which remains intact from the Japanese era, is pictured yesterday.

Photo: Wu Chun-feng, Taipei Times

A national heritage and waterway museum could be opened to the public as early as December, and the Tainan City Government encourages both residents and tourists to visit it.

Briton William Burton — who served as the sanitation consultant for the Japanese governor-general of Taiwan — began construction of the former Tainan Waterway complex in 1912 and completed it in 1922, the city government said, adding that it covered 56 hectares and provided clean drinking water to the residents of then-Tainan Fu.

The site was named a national heritage site in 2005 for its preservation of facilities as they were under Japanese rule, Tainan Bureau of Cultural Affairs Director Yeh Tse-shan (葉澤山) said.

The complex is comprised of a purified water pool, a filtration chamber, exit chambers, offices and laboratories, Yeh said.

A reciprocating pump drew water from the nearby Zengwen River (曾文溪) and dumped it into a sediment basin, where it was then transported to the filtration chamber, Yeh said, adding that after the purification process, the water was deposited into the purified water pool.

It was then pumped into pipes in which it traveled to the city, Yeh said.

The restoration project has cost NT$230 million (US$7.5 million), and is 73 percent complete, he said.

Portions of the filtration chamber, office and laboratories were damaged during the Feb. 6, 2016, earthquake, Yeh said, adding that the city government had initiated emergency repairs to prevent a cascade effect.

Once the restoration project is completed, the city government is to open the museum on a trial basis, Yeh said, adding that visitors would be able to tour the purification chamber.

The purification chamber is reminiscent of medieval castles and its resident bats are likely to leave visitors with a lasting impression, Acting Tainan Mayor Li Meng-yen (李孟諺) said.

The museum will not only be a tourist site, but will embody historical and cultural values, Li added.

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