Wa­ter short­ages per­sist in Shengkeng for three days


In a plight de­scribed by some as “un­seen in three decades,” res­i­dents of New Taipei City’s Shengkeng Dis­trict ( ) are still liv­ing with wa­ter short­ages, three days af­ter Typhoon Du­juan ( ) hit Tai­wan.

The Taipei Wa­ter Depart­ment (TWD, ) sus­pended the wa­ter sup­ply from 5 p.m. on Sept. 28. This re­sulted in a wa­ter short­age in Tam­sui ( ) and Shengkeng. Wa­ter sys­tems in Taipei were grad­u­ally re­stored the next day.

How­ever, there were still 6,150 house­holds with no wa­ter in Shengkeng, Tam­sui and Wu­lai (

) as of yesterday.

“This is like be­ing on wel­fare. It’s de­press­ing,” said a res­i­dent wait­ing in line with a bucket to re­trieve drink­ing wa­ter.

Tap wa­ter short­ages fol­lowed each of the two typhoons that struck Tai­wan this year alone — a phe­nom­e­non that has not oc­curred in the area for 30 or 40 years, ac­cord­ing to Shengken res­i­dents.

Shengken Dis­trict Leader Chou Jin-ping ( ) re­port­edly re­quested a wa­ter sup­ply truck and four fire en­gines from Keelung City to pro­vide wa­ter for the 9,000 af­fected house­holds. Chou said Shengkeng’s wa­ter orig­i­nates from the Mucha ( ), Pinglin ( ) and Shid­ing ( ) dis­tricts in Taipei City and the in­con­sis­ten­cies of wa­ter out­flow were be­cause wa­ter pipe­lines were ex­pe­ri­enc­ing dif­fer­ent de­grees of pres­sure.

If wa­ter short­ages are to be in­evitable af­ter typhoons in the fu­ture, said Chou, he hopes the TWD would no­tify Shengkeng res­i­dents ear­lier so they could save up on wa­ter be­fore­hand.

Ko Re­futes Hau’s Claim

Taipei City Mayor Ko Wen-je (

), yesterday re­futed his pre­de­ces­sor Hau Long-bin’s ( ) claim that there had never been a need to cut the wa­ter sup­ply dur­ing his eight years in of­fice.

Ko said Hao said that be­cause he did not have suf­fi­cient data, “His an­swer can be an­swered if (we) had the Taipei Wa­ter Depart­ment ( ) re­veal its data.”

Ko pre­sented fig­ures show­ing the tur­bid­ity of Nan­shi River (

) at the time it flowed into pu­rifi­ca­tion plants in the past. Ac­cord­ing to Ko, the high­est point of murk­i­ness in the past 10 years was around 12,000 NTU. At present, it is com­mon to see NTU reach more than 10,000 units and across longer lengths of time, said Ko.

Nan­shi River is muddy be­cause of the con­stant rain, and poor soil con­ser­va­tion, said Ko.

When ques­tioned about the wa­ter short­age, Ko said there is still room for im­prove­ment, but the costs for man­ag­ing tur­bid­ity lev­els this high are stag­ger­ing. Ac­cord­ing to Ko, the gov­ern­ment will cal­cu­late its cost ef­fec­tive­ness and present a re­port on Oct. 5.

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