Taipei - Keelung River - world's dirtiest?

It is my conviction that the Keelung River in Taipei is the world’s filthiest. I ride my bike in the park alongside the river about 4 days per week, and I’m always amazed at how putred it is. The ‘river’ runs black as oil, and if one were to flick a match in there, I think that would be the end of Taipei as we know it. One night I entered the park and I saw something white glittering on the top surface of that river. At first I thought that maybe, for the first time in a century perhaps, the stars were reflecting on the water. Upon closer inspection, however -and as the smell grew more intense- I discovered that the white sheen was caused by the bellies of thousands upon thousands of dead fish, floating belly-up. Some bastards had obviously dumped something toxic in there under the cover of night. Another time, on the day before a typhoon, I was riding in there and decided to go over the Dahzi Bridge to the other side, for more exercise. Because a typhoon was coming and the wind was kicking, the haze had been cleared out and the sun was shining down unobstructed. At mid-point on the bridge I parked to have a look over the side. The river was as brown and clumpy as an unflushed toilet in a bus station. Is this the dirtiest river on earth? And if it’s not, I’d like to know what is. I lived in NYC, and I think the East River is pristine in comparison.

the little putrid, rancid, offal filled sewage system that runs thru taoyuan must at least compare - home to everything from scooters to decapitated dogs!?! :loco:

they are actually cleaning it up, at least in terms of the banks of the river - putting in little parks etc. that really do make it look a few hundred percent better. that’s a great first step. but getting people to realize that rivers are not a place to throw away unwanted stuff takes a lot of time, not only here. i remember seeing an article about what they found in the waterways of holland (fridges, washing machines, bikes by the hundreds, cars).

there will have to be some cleaning of the actual rivers, at least this one through taoyuan, or the bridges might get knocked down during the next typhoon - saw a log slam into one in nankan a few years back - actually heard it is more precise … from a good km. away.

It’s a tradition. I had a old navy friend say that during the Vietnam war that Keelung harbour was the ‘dirtiest in the whole of Asia’.

Probably some parts of Russia have the pollution and bits of old nuclear plant as well in their rivers.

The Ganga would have to come close…

whew! The Ganga can rival the Keelung, I have to admit it. But I bet there are dead bodies anchored down in our river too. Maybe the typhoon will flush them out. How far did those dolphins make it up the Damshui River? I think they made it to point where it meets the Keelung River, then it was like…‘game over’.

Cement boots dead bodies must be in every river in the world I reckon… imagine the Yangtse!!! :noway:

Love river far outsmells the Keelung river. It cleans itself now though. Throw a stick in there and it fizzes away because of all the chemicals.

Can you walk up the Jilong River until it actually looks clean? Is there any point where you think: this here is the dude/factory that makes it a problem for everyone below this point?

When did you last see the Love River. It is quite clean now after years of effort. In fact in January this year I saw people windsurfing on the river and regular boat cruises have started. There was no smell from the river at all. The air in Kaohsiung, well, that is a different story. :wink:

But even the Keelung is far cleaner now. The EPA has been closing down illegal factories and pig farms for years. In fact I beleive all the pig farms are gone. The river is still brown because of sediment and probably human waste and some factory waste. But it is unlikely to be as dirty as it once was.

The area around Pingxi and Shifen acts as one of the main watersheds for the river. If you want to see the Keelung clean you’ll need to start here. :slight_smile:

Yup, gotta agree with Mucha. The Love River has MUCH improved over the past couple of years. They’ve even started ‘love cruises’ again on those party barges.

I’d like to point out this other river running through the middle of Keelung city.

It’s a strange gray-ish milky color, dirty, and smells really bad. This is right in the middle of town not outside somewhere in an industrial district.

Walking near World Gym and Burger King that are across the street almost makes you want to vomit. World Gym Keelung

Kind of funny that office of Bureau of Environmental Protection, Keelung City is nearby. Staff there must drive by it a few times a day.

Interesting to see this comment, as the Love river is now a tourist spot for most of it’s short course. (I like hang out there as it’s nice except for well, the tourists) A recent visit, I saw KeeLung harbour looks better but much of city does not look well (or maybe I missed the nice areas)

Keelung river has nothing to do with Keelung…it joins the Tamsui river.

It, umm, gets kind of close to Keelung?

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He did imply this:

Not at all. I’ve seen rivers in India and Vietnam that would make you puke. Fish die offs when it rains a ton are fairly normal in crappy ecosystems BTW. When I lived in Hanoi, all of the fish in the big lake would die after heavy September rains and the mosquitos the fish ate would breed out of control until there were dangue outbreaks every year. It has gotten so bad that the government has started scooping them out of the lake in the early hours of the morning so no one notices instead of solving the problem.

Do note the OP is from 17 years ago. (But yeah, I agree with you.)

You do realize that you responded to a comment that was made 17 years ago, right?


Wrong! It runs THROUGH Keelung, for about 15km.

I think @tempogain means downtown Keelung, where the harbor is, and he’s right, the river doesn’t flow through the downtown area.