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Taiwan poised to add more chlorine to drinking water

Citing the effects of climate change, amount of chlorine to disinfect water could be increased

Water quality is being affected by climate change. (Pexels photo)

Water quality is being affected by climate change. (Pexels photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said Monday (May 23) that it wants to revise drinking water quality standards to mitigate the effects of climate change.

More flooding events and droughts are predicted for Taiwan, according to the Water Resource Agency. Additionally, increased water temperatures will lead to eutrophication (excessive nutrients in water leading to algal blooms and other problems), which means water quality will be affected.

In response, the EPA intends to increase the amount of chlorine added to drinking water when heavy rain or other natural disasters raise the turbidity (cloudiness or clarity) of water, according to a UDN report. High turbidity generally means more cells within the culture, meaning a greater concentration of bacteria. This affects water quality.

The plan is to increase the level of chlorine from 0.2 to 2.0 mg per liter of water, to 0.2 to 3.0 mg. In the U.S. the chlorine level is as high as 4.0 mg per liter, while the World Health Organization health guideline is for less than 5.0 mg per liter.

Chlorine is typically added to drinking water to kill off bacteria and other organisms that might spread diseases.