Taipei--Responding to news reports that treated water from three Taiwan Water Corp.-run water purification plants and one distribution station contains hazardous levels of aluminum, the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) said Wednesday that the problem was detected last year, and that water from those sites is not unsafe for people to use.
On Tuesday, several local media outlets reported that levels of aluminum in treated water at the Chungfu and Shiding water purification plants in New Taipei, and the Guanxi water purification plant and Guanxi water distribution station in Hsinchu County, were higher than the acceptable standard of 0.3 parts per million, citing an EPA report on water quality inspections for 2016.
The reports said the number of people affected by the problem were around 85,000.
Yuan Shao-ying (???), head of the EPA's Department of Environmental Sanitation and Toxic Substance Management, explained that the abnormality at the four water supply sites was detected last year during the administration's annual pop-up water quality checks and inspections to 362 tap water supply systems and 38 small water treatment facilities around Taiwan.
Soon after being notified the problem, the water purification plants and distribution station took measures to address the issue, Yuan said. "All the required improvements have been made, and follow-up checks have been completed."
"People can rest assured. There's no risk," he said.
Asked about the reports, Tung Shu-yen (???), head of the state-owned water utility's First Branch, said Wednesday that the problem of water containing high levels of aluminum was found sometime between July and August last year, when the water used by those purification plants and the distribution station had unusually high turbidity following heavy downpours.
To treat the water, the plants had to increase the proportion of polyaluminum chloride, a chemical substance that is added to water to remove impurities, Tung said, explaining that the plants must have applied a higher volume of the chemical because the water was too muddy after heavy rain in July.
Describing the problem as an individual case, Tung said that since September last year, there has almost been no traceable level of aluminum detected in treated water at those plants.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel