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[2022-04-19] To Protect the Ninja Turtles of Our Time -- Interview of Professor Jin-Rong Lin

Da-Ai News Channel Report


How much does it cost to work in the sewers?


The current goal of the Construction and Planning Agency’s Sewerage Works Office is to increase the penetration rate of sewerage by 15% per year, which is approximately equal to 130,000 households. However, the safety incidents in sewage and sewer projects are quite frequent. There have already been 18 cases since 2017, with a total of 34 casualties. Amongst them, gas hazard and rock collapse are the main causes.


Jin-Rong Lin, Professor from the Department of Environmental Engineering of National Ilan University, said, “in the sewers, the working environment is variable and complicated. In one hand, in new construction projects, because the pipelines are buried deeper than the former ones, it becomes more easier to encounter the rock collapse incidents. On the other hand, one often be exposed  to an environment which is oxygen-deficient or full of harmful gases, because the sewage carries organic matter, which the microorganisms will grow, decomposing the nutrition with a lot of oxygen. Hydrogen sulphide itself is a paralyzing gas. As soon as one  enters a space with high concentration of hydrogen sulphide, one will be paralyzed and fall down before one is aware of being in a dangerous environment. It is basically difficult for one to escape, only to avoid with the help of detection equipment.”



The efficiency of industrial safety inspection is quite limited, user charge is recommended.


Scholars and experts suggest that the cost of repairing sewers should be reflected on the water bill. Professor Lin also said, “At present, we charge fees in Taipei City, Kaohsiung City, and New Taipei City. The charging standard is NT$5 per thousand litre, but actually our current processing fee is about NT$20 to NT$40 per thousand litre. The government must make the public understand that this fee is worth its price. Once the fee is paid, the construction of new sewer systems and the maintenance of existing systems will be perfected. Then we can also improve and strengthen the entire industry, and the workers will be able to work in a better environment, which the industrial safety can also be improved.” The sewer systems are the city’s "construction of integrity” --  the less it could be seen, the more it needs to be taken care of.


Professor Lin during the interview.



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