Due to the significant amount of wastewater effluents from public sewage systems and violations related to improperly treated wastewater or unpermitted wastewater discharge, the EPA decided to stipulate that all enterprises with a permitted daily wastewater discharge of more than 1,500 cubic meters install automated water quality and quantity monitoring systems. All installations should be completed by the end of July 2019.
Because of the mercury content in coal, wastewater with mercury is also produced in the process of fluegas desulfurization (FGD) in coal-fired power plants. The EPA therefore revised the effluent standards to tighten the limit for mercury. In addition, as of 1 January 2018, such power plants are also required to report related information on the total mercury value in the coal they use, and shall undertake extra management measures when the total mercury value reaches a specified concentration.
As for industries that have manufacturing processes with high pollution potentials, separate wastewater collection and treatment can increase wastewater treatment efficiency while also reducing operational costs. Hence, the following industries are obliged to collect and treat their wastewater based on its characteristics: the wafer fabrication industry and the semiconductors manufacturing industry; the optoelectronic materials and components manufacturing industry; the printed circuit board manufacturing industry; the electroplating industry; and, the metal finishing industry.
To increase the efficiency of recycling livestock waste, pig and cattle farms are required to recycle their wastewater and have a minimum reuse rate of 10%. To provide sufficient time for existing livestock enterprises to adapt to the changes, a grace period of five to 12 years, depending on the scale of the enterprise, will be given.
Livestock enterprises with 20 to 200 pigs often discharge improperly treated livestock waste into surface water bodies, reducing water quality. The EPA thus decided that it is necessary to inspect wastewater treatment facilities to monitor their operation and functionality. Also, livestock enterprises are now required to submit their wastewater management plans and to receive a permit from the relevant competent authority for discharging effluent.
The documents required for wastewater reports have also been simplified in order to encourage enterprises to submit their reports in accordance with the law. For enterprises that have never violated the Water Pollution Control Act ( 水污染防治 法 ) within the year prior to the first day of the report submission month, only the water quality reports are required. The EPA plans to improve information transparency by disclosing real-time automated water quality monitoring data collected from public wastewater sewers. Additionally, the EPA has also simplified the regulations on the management of livestock waste fermentation sediment and liquid, in order to assist livestock enterprises and to improve water quality.
- Environmental Protection Administration, R.O.C.(Taiwan)