::: Monthly News

Xinwu River Coastal Water Quality Monitoring Station Unveiled for Operations Today

Secretary-General Chih-Feng Huang of the Taoyuan City Government (TYCG) presided today (31) on the opening ceremony of the second coastal real-time water quality monitoring station under the bridge at Provincial Highway 61 at the upstream estuary of the Xinwu River. Secretary-General Huang explained that the estuary of the Xinwu River sits in the core area of the Guanxin Algal Reefs Ecosystem Wildlife Refuge. Besides being a breeding site of fish, shrimps, crabs, and shellfish, the refuge is also a transit hub for migratory birds migrating between the north and south. Therefore, it must be strictly protected. Setting up a real-time water quality monitoring station in the refuge aims to deter dishonest business-owners from stealthily discharging wastewater into the river at night or on rainy days, as well as to create the basic data on local water quality and quantity through long-term observation and research for the reference of making decisions for algae restoration. In addition, debris fence booms were also installed to effectively block debris coming from the upstream, in order to reduce the hazards of plastic debris on the algal ecology.

According to Secretary-General Huang, the first monitoring station at the Puxin River already started operations last August to continuously monitor the water quality of the Puxin River round-the-clock. It is the stronghold protecting the ecology of the Xucuogang Wetland. The second station at the estuary of the Xinwu River is committed to protecting the algal reefs in Guanxin. In addition, the functions of this new station have been largely optimized. The third station at the estuary of the Nankan River will start operations next August. In the future, the TYCG will build one station every year to optimize Taoyuan’s real-time coastal water quality monitoring network. In addition, the TYCG signed a collaboration agreement with the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) of the Ministry of Transportations and Communications (MOTC) and the National Central University this July to initiate the Taoyuan Marine Meteorology Monitoring Network Deployment Project next year. Under the project, a total of six high-frequency marine meteorology radar systems will be deployed in the next three years for the real-time observation of surface waves, sea currents, and monsoons to benefit the simulation of marine pollutant spread, tracking and predicting marine rescue and search, and warning of marine weather hazards. All real-time monitoring data of water quality and marine meteorology will be directly transferred to the Coastal Environment Monitoring Technology Center for research and analysis. They are the three lines of defense of Taoyuan’s coastal region.

Secretary-General Huang said that last month Director Li-Chang Lin of the Office of Coast Administration Construction (TYOCA) led 15 advanced divers to the estuary of the Xinwu River in four canoes sponsored by Lucky Parking to clean up seabed debris. In just one hour, they cleaned up to 91.6kg of waste, including PE bottles, tires, Styrofoam balls, glass bottles, scrapped fishing nets, aluminum cans, etc. Most of them are PE bottles carried down by the river and deposited on the beach at the estuary or sunken in the seabed. To effectively intercept surface debris, debris fence booms were specifically installed at the upstream estuary of the Xinwu River to prevent river debris from entering the Guanxin Algal Reefs Ecosystem Wildlife Refuge. In addition, fishing nets scrapped by fishermen were also found tying around the reefs. As they will bring hazards to algal reefs, the TYOCA will trial the Scrapped Fishing Net Purchasing and Recycling Program in collaboration with the fishermen’s associations of Taoyuan and Zhongli districts. It is hoped that the fishermen can sell unwanted fishing nets to the fishermen’s association, which will gather these fishing nets for recycling service providers to recycle them. The program aims to prevent the dumping of unwanted fishing nets in the sea and thereby protect the precious algal reef ecosystem.
According to Director-General Li-Te Lu of the Taoyuan Department of Environmental Protection (TYDEP), algal reefs are the “plant reef” of the limestone reef body formed by calcified dead crustose coralline algae (CCA) deposited on the gravel beach. As it takes about 10 years to grow only 1cm on average, to preserve these marine treasures that exist for at least 4,000 years, the TYCG planned and established the “Taoyuan Guanxin Algal Reefs Ecosystem Wildlife Refuge” in 2014 to enhance their protection. The refuge sits along the coast south of the Xiaofanli River and north of the Houhu River in Guanyin District, with a length of 4.3km, and a total 315 hectares of space. It is divided into the core area, the buffering area, and the sustainable use area for graded management. As algal reefs are physically porous, they are very suitable for inhabitation and hiding by marine organisms. Therefore, they are called the nursery of marine organisms for breeding a range of marine organisms. Currently, a total of ten species of algae and 129 marine animals have been found in the locale, with an organism density that’s five times the Gaomei Wetland and eight times the Xiangshan Wetland, making the refuge a home that’s rich in biodiversity.

Director-General Lu emphasized, as the Xinwu River sits right at the estuary in the core area of the Guanxin Algal Reefs Ecosystem Wildlife Refuge, pollutants deposit easily at the estuary and are difficult to disperse and dilute due to tidal movements and high-tide and low-tide mechanisms. Therefore, a coastal water quality monitoring station is set at the upstream estuary of the Xinwu River to deter dishonest business-owners from stealthily discharging wastewater to contaminate river water quality. In addition, waste from river debris is also a killer of the algal reef ecosystem. Although the coast watch, marine environment fleet, and environmental diver team with volunteers have been formed to actively engage in marine debris cleanup, massive debris keeps coming down the river to contaminate the habitat environment of organisms living in the algal reefs. Therefore, debris fence booms were also deployed at the upstream of the Xinwu River Water Quality Monitoring Station, hoping to catch all river debris before they enter the algal reef refuge. If the trial is a success, in the future debris fence booms will first be deployed at river sections before reaching the hub of waterways to block and clean up waste in advance, in order to stop river debris from contaminating the coastal environment.

According to the TYOCA, besides measuring river discharge, the coastal water quality monitoring stations can monitor 10 river quality items at the same time, including discharge, temperature, salinity, pH, dissolved oxygen, conductivity, redox potential, chemical oxygen demand, ‎ammonia nitrogen, and copper ions. It takes about 20 minutes to get one entry of data. Based on the experience of the first station at the Puxin River, a number of functions have been optimized for the Xinwu station, such as the addition of the backwater automatic washing device at the dirt-blocking gate to reduce cleaning labor; the addition of the one-way meter at the pumping motor; the addition to the motor operation diagnosis, water level, and leaking warning functions; the replacement of the ventilation fan with air-conditioning equipment to reduce drilling holes on the station walls to erosion caused by sea wind; the addition of moveable joints to all pipelines to facilitate in-pipe desilting and clean in place; the enhancement of the power of the automatic cleaning compressor of sensors from 2kg to 5kg to prevent biofilm adhesion from affecting test accuracy.

Today, TYCG Secretary-General Chih-Feng Huang; Senior Executive Officer Hsiao-Hsia Li of the Ocean Conservation Administration, Ocean Affairs Council; Deputy Captain Chien-Jen Tseng of the Offshore Flotilla 8, Northern Branch, Coast Guard Agency, Ocean Conservation Administration; MOTC-CWB Senior Technical Specialist Lu-Hsiang Chi; MOTC-CWB Xinwu Station Director Li-Hui Tai; Chairperson Chih-Cheng Huang of the Graduate Institute of Hydrological & Oceanic Sciences, National Central University; Legislator Shih-Chieh Huang; Councilor Mei-Ying Kuo Tsai; Deputy Director Wu-Ping Tsai of Taoyuan City Industrial Parks Service Center; TYDEP Director-General Li-Te Lu; TYDEP Deputy Director-General Cheng-Hsiang Chen; TYOCA Director Li-Chang Lin; Xinwu District Executive Yi-Kuen Chiang; Guanyin District Executive Ching-Yuan Hung; Guanyin Village Head Cheng-Shen Yeh and Baoshen Village Head Wen-Chien Hsieh of Guanyin District; Bengang Village Head Chien-Hsing Huang and Shenzhen Village Head Tzu-Wei Li of Xinwu District; Chairperson Kuo-Chieh Yeh of Jhongli Fishermen’s Association; Baoshen Community Development Association, Guanyin Community Development Association, Taoyuan Coastal Ecology Conservation Association, Taoyuan Ocean Hakka Association, Taoyuan City Xinwu District Ayshiang Association, Taiyuan City Xinwu District Ocean Hakka Agricultural Recreation Association, and Taoyuan City Coastal Watch attended the opening ceremony to show support for the event.


Xinwu River Coastal Water Quality Monitoring Station Unveiled for Operations Today


Xinwu River Coastal Water Quality Monitoring Station Unveiled for Operations Today


debris fence