Liuchuan, Taichung

Enhancing connections

Liuchuan canal remediation and environmental improvement project: concept drawing for the 300-metre landscaped section. Image credit: AECOM

In 2012 under a government-led project to revitalize the district, The Heart of Taichung City: Culture-led Urban Regeneration Plan, aimed to enhance connections between the old and new parts of the city centre through creating an attractive core. Enhancing the integration of blue and green infrastructure into the urban fabric is one of six avenues being pursued to deliver the objectives of the plan.  “The management of the waterways determines a city’s destiny,” explains Taichung Water Resources Bureau Director Chou Ting-chang, “We wanted to restore the reputation of ‘Little Kyoto’ for the old downtown.”

With financial support from the Environment Protection Agency, Taichung City’s Water Resource Bureau designed a two-phase remediation and improvement project to give the Liuchuan canal back some of its lost glory. The initiative was designed to improve the canal’s water quality and flood-prevention capabilities, as well as to create a waterfront environment that would help make the old district more attractive.

Phase one of the project, undertaken in 2015, covered four kilometres of the canal. It first involved addressing water quality issues resulting from point source pollution between the Chongde Liu and Zhongzheng Liu bridges. The following year, immediately downstream between the Zhongzheng Liu and Min Quan Liu bridges, a 300-meter long new landscaped river scenery was complemented, which reconnected the old central district with its river while tackling local non-point source pollution from street runoffs.

Between the Chongde Liu and the Zhongzheng Liu bridges, 30 sewage interceptors were put in place to divert polluted water towards sewage treatment facilities prior to being released back into the waterways. Part of the sewage intercepted every day (about 10,000 tons) is treated at the newly built Zhonghua Water Purification Station located next to the canal, while the rest is taken to existing wastewater treatment plants. Overall this amounts to over 57,000 tons of sewage per day being diverted away from the canal for adequate treatment. The Zhonghua Water Purification Station was created as part of the Liuchuan canal remediation project beneath an existing parking lot. It relies on a gravel filtration system (gravel contact oxidation treatment). The below-ground facility features an observation corridor that is used to conduct educational tours and raise awareness about water quality and water treatment techniques.