::: FAQs

Industrial Wastewater Treatment

The Water Pollution Control Act was promulgated in 1974, and the government focused its efforts on inspecting and supervising factories to construct wastewater treatment facilities. In the 1990s, the legal framework was more complete; for example, regulations on permissions, inspections, counseling, technician licensing, and professional credentials were implemented. The management strategies for industrial wastewater and protection of water quality were therefore more complete. In general, the management system achievements have surpassed its goal to accelerate the installation of adequate wastewater treatment facilities at business premises; the EPA has set up a network for industrial wastewater pollution information management to control and respond promptly to pollution.

Presently, the government manages industrial wastewater by issuing permission, supervising operations, inspecting and documenting records, controlling emissions and holding unscheduled inspections by competent environmental protection agencies.

(1) The permission system started in 1991, and the system covers submission of wastewater treatment plans before constructing factories and before permitting emissions, storage, dilution, soil treatment, discharge of wastewater into groundwater or the ocean. By issuing permits and licensing technicians, the competent authorities can oversee businesses and obtain comprehensive information regarding their emissions.

(2) The government supervises the operation of factories in the hope that they will take reasonable preventions to reduce the production of pollutants and operate wastewater treatment facilities accurately and regularly. In terms of prevention management, the government requests factories to establish water treatment facilities and ensure normal and functional operation of facilities.

(3) The purpose of documenting the results of inspections is to assist businesses in determining if their facilities are functioning normally and if the facilities can alert the users about emergencies in advance.

(4) The government controls emission permits and regulates all businesses and ensures that they abide by the laws. The competent authorities conduct regular inspections. Night and holiday inspections are conducted to prevent illegal emissions.

(5) Expanding the scope of control: The EPA listed 23 industries covering 12,000 businesses, on December 6, 2005. The emissions of fifteen industries, including food processing, catering, tourist hotels and restaurants, in water source protection areas were slashed from 20 CMD to 10 CMD. The government also supervises the recycling of wastewater and the tank trucks of commissioned operators to prevent illegal emissions.

In the future, the EPA will strengthen administrative management and claim wastewater treatment tax as an economic incentive to encourage pollution producers to reduce pollutant emissions. The tax will be used to finance the improvement of rivers and enhance the quality of river water. In the meantime, the EPA will incorporate the ideas of pollution prevention, quota control, integral reports and self management to achieve sustainable management. The EPA undertakes the following measures:

(1) accelerate negotiations to claim wastewater treatment taxes as soon as possible, and provide economic incentives to reduce pollutant emissions;

(2) continue wastewater management and prevent illegal emissions;

(3) improve the capacities to respond to emergencies and to control the gravity of accidents

(4) research on prevention strategies and urge businesses to improve their prevention measures

(5) encourage the recycling and reuse of wastewater, to reduce contamination

(6) draft a systematic plan for managing special contaminants generated by the high-tech industry.

(7) enhance inspection and sampling.