Cen­tral gov­ern­ment lays blame at Taipei’s door over dirty wa­ter

Cus­tomers won’t be charged for days of dirty wa­ter: gov’t


The cen­tral gov­ern­ment said yesterday that the Taipei City Gov­ern­ment might not have man­aged wa­ter dis­tri­bu­tion to the best of its abil­ity, as tap wa­ter turned murky in Taipei in the af­ter­math of Typhoon Soude­lor.

Taipei City regularly re­lies on Nan­shi River ( ) and Feit­sui Dam ( ) as its main source of wa­ter sup­ply. In­stead of us­ing Nan­shi River which has a high con­cen­tra­tion of silt, the city gov­ern­ment should have chan­neled wa­ter from Feit­sui Dam in­stead, said Vice Eco­nomic Af­fairs Min­is­ter Yang Wei-fu (

). Yang sus­pected Taipei Wa­ter Depart­ment had not no­ticed the muddy wa­ter con­di­tions in the river’s up­per stream be­fore di­rect­ing it to Taipei’s res­i­dents.

Cur­rently, Feit­sui Dam has very clean wa­ter, Yang said, im­ply­ing Taipei City could have used its re­serves. Taipei Wa­ter Depart­ment might have mis­man­aged the prob­lem and should do some self­ex­am­i­na­tion, Yang added.

Yang’s re­mark ap­peared to be coun­ter­ing Taipei Mayor Ko Wenje’s ( ) state­ment made a day ear­lier. Given Nan­shi River’s muddy wa­ter, the cen­tral gov­ern­ment should re­view and im­prove the river’s soil and wa­ter preser­va­tion prac­tices, Ko said.

Taipei Wa­ter Depart­ment De­nial

Taipei Wa­ter Depart­ment’s head Chen Chin-hsiang ( ) said in an in­ter­view yesterday that it is not fea­si­ble for his depart­ment to use one of the two wa­ter sources ex­clu­sively.

In ad­di­tion, the wa­ter’s tur­bid­ity reached a his­tor­i­cally high level in a mat­ter of just two hours, mak­ing it dif­fi­cult for the wa­ter depart­ment to adapt quickly, Chen said.

In re­gards to what con­trib­uted to Nan­shi River’s murky wa­ter, Vice Min­is­ter Yang said an in­ves­ti­ga­tion is un­der way. A ma­jor land­slide or a bar­rier lake that

The Taipei Wa­ter Depart­ment said Tues­day that it will not charge cus­tomers for three days of wa­ter af­ter Typhoon Soude­lor bat­tered Tai­wan on Satur­day and dis­rupted wa­ter sup­plies.

Ex­plain­ing that the poor qual­ity of the city’s wa­ter fol­low­ing the storm had in­con­ve­nienced the public, the depart­ment said it has de­cided not to charge for the wa­ter supplied from Aug. 8 might have formed in the up­per stream are po­ten­tial causes.

The Soil and Wa­ter Con­ser­va­tion Bureau and the Cen­tral Emer­gency Op­er­a­tion Cen­ter said they will re­lease rel­e­vant in­for­ma­tion within one to two days and team up to solve prob­lems in the fu­ture.

High Pre­cip­i­ta­tion in Wu­lai

On a sep­a­rate note, the Wa­ter Re­sources Agency noted that Wu­lai Dis­trict logged 722 mil­lime­ters of pre­cip­i­ta­tion within 24 hours, when Typhoon Soude­lor hit Tai­wan the hard­est to Aug. 10.

The ad­just­ment will show up in wa­ter bills in Septem­ber or Oc­to­ber.

Ac­cord­ing to the depart­ment, the rel­a­tively high tur­bid­ity of Taipei’s drink­ing wa­ter af­ter the typhoon, which trig­gered a wave of bot­tled wa­ter pur­chases, has im­proved, and the city’s wa­ter qual­ity has re­turned to nor­mal. sec­ond only to a record high rain­fall brought by Typhoon Matsa in 2005.

How­ever, the rain­fall mea­sur­ing sta­tion ac­cu­mu­lated 632 mil­lime­ters within 12 hours to set a new record, the Wa­ter Re­sources Agency said.

Past ex­pe­ri­ence shows lo­cal pri­mal forests are bound to have land­slides when pre­cip­i­ta­tion ex­ceeds the 600-mil­lime­ter thresh­old. As such, the chance is high that Feit­sui Dam will suf­fer sub­stan­tial dam­age, Yang said.


A beaker filled with muddy wa­ter is shown in this pic­ture taken yesterday. Taipei Wa­ter Depart­ment said yesterday that the city’s wa­ter sup­ply and qual­ity have grad­u­ally re­turned to nor­mal, and that it will of­fer money back as com­pen­sa­tion for the in­fe­rior wa­ter qual­ity in the last cou­ple of days.

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