Safety of Taiwan's Drinking Water
The EPA was responding to a report in the Chinese-language Minsheng Daily that claimed the level of microcystins in nine reservoirs exceed the acceptable level set by the WHO, posing a threat to tap water users
Commonly found in lakes, ponds and reservoirs, microcystis bacteria produce natural toxins, called microcystins, that are very potent. Microcystins are hepatotoxic, and widespread scientific studies show that accumulation of the chemicals can cause liver damage.
EPA officials, however, rebutted the report by showing the results of a study on 10 reservoirs and nine water-treatment plants nationwide.
The study showed that among 314 samples of water collected from reservoirs and water treatment plants, the highest total concentration of microcystins (in nanograms per liter) was 278, which was far below the WHO's drinking-water standard of 1,000. This level was found in Taihu (太湖) Reservoir in Kinmen County.
According to the study, total microcystin concentrations in samples of treated water were all lower than 65.
Update news on 10/22/2012: Taiwan's Chinese-language Liberty Times reported, Bisphenol A (BPA), Nonyl Phenol (NP/NPEO), and Plasticizer (DEHP) were found in Taiwan's tap water, some exceeding EU regulatory limits too.