South korea

Published: Saturday 04 July 2015

The ministry of environment in South Korea has announced a six-year plan to improve the water quality of the Naktong River. The river is a source of drinking water for about 13 million residents of the southeastern Kyongsang provinces.

The project will construct more than 266 sewage treatment plants and six dams and will replace old water pipes. Ministry officials said they aim to lower the biological oxygen demand (bod) level of the river to one part per million (ppm) from the present 3-5 ppm.

A water body whose bod exceeds 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, experts say.

The quality of the river's water has rapidly deteriorated in recent years, due to frequent droughts and the establishment of industrial parks along the river, ministry officials said.

The ministry said it will enforce regulations that will limit the total volume of pollutants each local government or industrial park may release. It said Taegu will be the first target of the renewed enforcement policy.

The ministry also unveiled a plan to collect a water-use tax from all households, factories, industrial parks and local governments along the river.

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