Businesses around Taiwan have been accused of dumping waste into waterways during heavy rain to avoid being discovered, but a Kaohsiung City Councilor discovered a government agency partaking in the practice on Monday afternoon.
Kaohsiung City Councilor Li Ya-ching (李雅靜) posted a video to Facebook showing dark black wastewater being discharged at 3pm on Monday at Fengshan Park (鳳山溪旁公園). She said she was riding a scooter through the area when she noticed the discolored water flowing and began recording.
The sewage being dumped into the waterway was allegedly from the Water Resources Bureau’s Fengshan Sewage Treatment Plant (鳳山溪污水處理廠).
Li called the Kaohsiung Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) and the Water Resources Bureau to investigate the situation. She told Apple Daily that even if the rain was heavy enough that the treatment facility could not handle the volume, the water runoff discharged should not be black.
Water Resources Bureau Acting Director Han Rong-hwa (韓榮華) questioned Li’s claims that the discharge was sewage sludge from the treatment facility. Han said that at 8:45 am, heavy rain caused the facility to exceed capacity as the water level rose 12 meters. At 9:42 am, the facility had to open the overflow gates to release the excess water. As the heavy rain caused some damage to treatment operations, some sewage may have flowed out of the facility along with the rainwater.
Han added that by the time Councilor Li filmed the discharge, the water that flowed into the river had caused sediment and mud to mix with the water, causing it to appear black.
The EPA said it had dispatched personnel to the river and sewage treatment plant to conduct an investigation and collect samples.