Wastewater treatment facility planned for Dongsha Island

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Wastewater treatment facility planned for Dongsha Island

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Taipei, Nov. 5 (CNA) Kaohsiung's Water Resources Bureau plans to spend NT$60 million (US$2.03 million) on a wastewater treatment and water recycling system on the Taiwan-held Pratas Island to preserve marine resources and protect the environment, a city official said Sunday.

The island, located 450 kilometers south of Kaohsiung in the South China Sea, is part of the Pratas island group and center of the Dongsha Atoll National Park, the country's first ocean-based national park, which was established in January 2007.

The island is under the jurisdiction of the city government.

With a diameter of 25 kilometers, Pratas Island is rich in coral reef landscapes and ecological resources, and the waters around it are home to a wide variety of marine life, said Liang Jin-yuan (梁錦淵), the bureau's chief engineer.

Officials from the Construction and Planning Agency under the Ministry of the Interior and the city's Water Resources Bureau decided to draw up a plan to significantly reduce marine pollution from wastewater after seeing wastewater treatment facilities on the island, Liang said.

There are 30 buildings and 200 people on the island, Liang said, and only the administrative office is equipped with wastewater treatment and water recycling facilities.

Water used by people in other buildings usually seeps into the soil before flowing into the sea.

Because untreated wastewater can affect the ecology of coral communities, the bureau plans to build a biofilm wastewater treatment system to treat about 50-70 cubic meters of water a day, which can be reused for irrigation and to wash vehicles, Liang said.

The project will require an estimated NT$60 million and the bureau plans to solicit funds from the central government as part of its infrastructure development plan, according to Liang, with work expected to start in 2018.

(By Wang Shwu-fen and Evelyn Kao)

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