South Korea

Published: Saturday 04 July 2015

The ministry of environment has come out with a six-year project to improve the quality of the Naktong River's water, according to a newspaper report. The river is a source of drinking water for nearly 13 million residents of the southeastern province of Kyongsang. The project involves the construction of six dams and 266 more sewage treatment plants, along with the replacement of water pipes.

Officials of the ministry said they plan to bring down the biological oxygen demand ( bod , which indicates the presence of organic nutrients in the water) of the riverwater to 1 part per million (ppm) from the present 3-5 ppm. A waterbody with a bod level exceeding 5 ppm is considered to have lost the ability to circulate and cleanse itself. When the level exceeds 10 ppm, the water emits deadly fumes. The quality of the riverwater has rapidly deteriorated in recent years due to drought and the establishment of industrial parks along the river, ministry officials said.

Officials pointed out that the ministry will enforce regulations that limit the total volume of pollutants each local government or industrial park can release into the river. A plan to collect a water-use tax from all households, factories, industrial parks and local governments along the river has also been announced.

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