To effectively manage water bodies in Taiwan and protect water quality, the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) initiated “Internet of Water Quality” (IoWQ) project in 2017, pushing for comprehensive progress in the research and development of sensor components, on-site deployment, data analysis and value-adding application. With hardware facility development and related operation mechanism being completed in 2019, the objective of this plan is to build on the existing achievements to facilitate the development of water quality sensor installation and law enforcement procedure. Through the plan, water quality sensors developed by Taiwan are applied in various water environments and a guideline of applying results of sensors in law enforcement is established and fine-tuned. This guideline has been introduced to environmental protection bureaus of all city and county governments to facilitate on-site law enforcement. The ultimate goal is to maximize the effects of the plan or serve as the basis for education and training, to enhance applications of the plan in the hopes to materialize a smart, automatic and comprehensive water quality monitoring system.
The plan started its operation after the deployment of water quality sensors at 64 sites, collecting and analyzing data to draft rules to determine facility and water quality anomalies. It established and validated the water quality sensor installation and law enforcement procedure, and completed a guideline for city and county governments to cooperate on water quality sensor application. Meanwhile, 255 incidents of water quality anomaly were extracted during the period of deployment and related data were provided to central and local governments for their reference.
Working with the irrigation water quality pilot project of the Irrigation Agency, the plan installed water quality sensors in irrigation and drainage channels at Changhua County and Kaohsiung City, providing information about location and frequency of anomalies, and potential pollution sources to related competent authorities as a reference for auditing and law enforcement. The Supervisory Brigade in Southern Taiwan of EPA, thus, caught an electroplating factory engaging in reroute discharge of wastewater into Fuxing Channel. Through the results of the pilot project, suggestions concerning division of responsibilities in smart water quality sensing of irrigation water were provided, including the division of responsibilities on-site and implementation advice for related competent authorities.