The name of “Nuannuan” originated from the “Loanloan” settlement of Taiwanese indigenous plains people. The development of Nuannuan flourished due to river transportation along the Keelung River in which after entering Xizhi, ship merchants have to transfer from large ships to small ships to enter the Nuannuan “Ferry Port.” Therefore, the old streets of Nuannuan were filled with prosperous stores.
When the Japan started to colonize Taiwan from 1895, it suffered from infectious diseases such as cholera, malaria, Typhoid fever and others. To solve the public health problem of Taiwan, the Government-General of Taiwan invited Head Goto Shinpei of the Medical Bureau of the Home Ministry to Taiwan in 1896 as a public health consultant. He suggested the building of upper and lower sewer facilities (for supplying water and draining water).
Goto Shinpei recommended W. K. Burton to visit Taiwan on the same year. The public heath construction investigation and designing started from 1896, which suggested that reservoir for storing water and a water purification site should be built at the upstream of Xishih River, west of Nuannuan, as the water source of Keelung’s water channels.
The construction of the Keelung water channel started in 1898 and was completed on 1902. After the channel’s completion, filtering pool, filtering well, purification pool, purification well, and other constructions were added at the water source of the Nuannuan on 1908, 1917 and 1923, respectively. After World War II, these facilities were under the administration of the Water Source Department and were renamed as Xinshan Water Treatment Plant and Nuannuan Water Purification Plant of the District 1 Administration Office, Taiwan Water Corporation.
The Nuannuan Water Purification Plant is a century-old building and is currently still in service. Parts of the building, including the octagonal building, pump room and its elegant appearance made with red bricks and concrete have maintained their form since the Japanese Colonial Era. Although the suction pumps in the pump room have been retired and are now no longer in service, they have been well preserved and is the best witness of Taiwan’s tap water development and history.
The Keelung City Cultural Affairs Bureau has evaluated and passed recently that this site will be registered as a cultural landscape according to the Cultural Heritage Preservation Act, making it the second culture landscape in Keelung City after the Fairy Cave.