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Cabinet to help all areas with lead pipes

Cabinet to help all areas with lead pipes

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The Cabinet said Saturday it would fund all cities and counties who needed help with the replacement of lead water pipelines, though the authorities added they had no idea of the scale of the problem.
Initial reports said as many as 36,000 households nationwide might be affected by the problem, including 30,000 in Taipei City. Governments have set different deadlines for completing the replacement, with the capital hoping to achieve the task within three years, though in recent days, timetables have been speeded up, requiring more money.
Premier Mao Chi-kuo said Saturday the central government would not exclude any county of city which needed assistance, and, if needed, special reserve funds would be used to fix the problem, reports said.
The Ministry of Economic Affairs and local governments would first address available funds to solve the issue before they were likely to ask for aid from the central level, reports said.
Taipei City has its own water company and can therefore independently set up a budget to remove the lead pipes and place new ones, but Mao emphasized he would not exclude the capital from central government aid.
In addition to pipelines, experts were also looking at faucets inside the home. Originally, Taiwan had been following Japan’s example by not setting any maximum content levels for heavy metals, but the Environmental Protection Agency was reportedly working on a maximum limit of 10 parts per billion for lead, reports said.
The authorities have been struggling to locate the lead pipes because older information, especially from before 1975, is extremely sparse and disorganized. Web sites will make public the precise location of the problematic pipes, while water specialists will reportedly also visit people’s homes, take tests and inform them about the risks.
Next Monday, test results from 150 locations in Taipei will be made public, while later in the week, work is expected to start on digging up lead lines in areas containing restaurants, night markets, hotels and other busy institutions, the city government said.


Updated : 2021-09-25 00:34 GMT+08:00