Expanding Local Waterworks and Advanced Treatment Process

Recently, floods and drought are getting caused more frequently by climate change and other factors, forecasting water shortage of about 1 billion ㎥ in 2016. In order to ensure drinking water supply and relief the imbalance between water supply and demand, the government formulated a waterworks expansion plan and the corresponding fund is being applied. 6,547 waterworks received a national fund of KRW 353.8 billion during 2008-2011 and their facilities - including water intake, treatment, disinfection, distribution - and pipelines were upgraded. And KRW 47.4 billion was appropriated to upgrade the facilities of 551 sites. In addition, the intra-regional waterworks adjustment is being carried out in 9 regions (North Han River Region, Yeongdong Region, Gum River South Region, Yeongsan River Region, Han River Region, South Han River Region, Nakdong River North Region, and Nakdong River South Region). To adjust the intra-regional waterworks, various survey and evaluation have been carried out including public and non-public water supplied area, future water demand and supply, the production capacity of waterworks etc.

In the drought of 2009 at Gangwon province, the leakage of water pipeline was significantly responsible for the water supply suspension and emergency water supply. So, the ‘Water Network Optimization Project’ is being carried out at 46 local governments with fiscal self-sufficiency rate below 30%. The project is composed of integrating the adjacent local waterworks and replacing the outworn water pipelines with block-system of pipeline network. To promote the project efficiently, the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Strategic Planning and Finance signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in 2009. A national fund of KRW 232.6 billion is being invested during 2010-2014 in the local waterworks to raise the revenue water ratio up to maximum 85%. For the management of the underground water pipelines, leakage pin-pointing technologies and the robot capable of visual scan and pipe regeneration were developed. The technologies have been deployed in the field as a demonstration project since 2011.

Since 2009, a national fund of KRW 32,163 million has been spent to expand advanced treatment processes in DWTPs. The severely outworn DWTPs have the priority of investment and 17 local governments received KRW 18,100 million in 2012. To increase the efficiency of DWTPs, Water Supply and Waterworks Installation Act amended in 2007 requires technical diagnosis of DWTPs and pipeline networks every five years. To support the small and medium-sized local waterworks, technical assistance is provided every year.

Continuous efforts have been made to support the water supply vulnerable areas including farming and fishing areas as well as islands. The revised 2-stage waterworks expansion plan was prepared and KRW 1.07 trillion was spent during 2008-2011. The statistics of waterworks reflect the continued commitment. As of late 2011, the water supply ratio at ‘myeon’ (sub unit of county) increased from 47% in 2008 to 65%, while it is 98.7% at cities. In 2011, KRW 242.7 billion was spent to provide water supply to 177 farming and fishing communities as well as 50 islands.

The revised 2nd Agricultural and Fishing Villages Waterworks Expansion Plan will be implemented, which envisions 76% of the villages receive water supply by 2014. In 2012, KRW 256.8 billion was spent in 178 farming and fishing communities to increase the water supply ratio up to 67%. And 3rd Agricultural and Fishing Villages Waterworks Expansion Plan for 2014 will be prepared to improve the water service at farming and fishing communities and to secure water supply in the vulnerable areas where local waterwork services are not provided.


Building Urban Sewage System That Can Deal with Climate Change

Korea has experienced a temperature rise of 1.5℃, twice as much as the global average, while precipitation is also on the rise. In Seoul, temperature has rose 2.4℃ per year and annual precipitation has increased 27% over last century (1908-2007). Moreover, the rainfall intensity has significantly increased. The  occurrence of heavy rains, defined as 50 mm or more per hour, was recorded as 8 during 1960s, while it was 111 times in the 2000s.

As climate change causes more and more meteorological disasters, Sewage Act was amended in February 2012 which included the legal basis for storage facilities and the designation of ‘Intensive sewage Management Areas’. The sewage management project was diversified and expanded. From 2011, the Value Engineering (VE) was incorporated for the environmental infrastructures, which resulted in the saving of KRW 17.5 billion from 16 project in June 2012. During 2012 to 2015, sewage maintenance projects for preventing urban floods are in progress at 16 municipalities including Gimhae City.

By the amendment of Sewage Act on November 14, 2011, the storage facility is defined in the act. And provisions related to pollutants discharged from drainage districts and installation of storage facilities were included in Sewage Management Master Plan. As the heavy rainfalls cause sewage overflows and urban inundation, Sewage Act was amended once again on February 1, 2012. The amendment included the designation of ‘Intensive Sewage Management Areas’ and the reinforcement of sewage design standard (on April 22, 2011). To upgrade conveyance capacity of sewage pipelines, the design flood standard, a.k.a. rainfall return period, was increased from 10 year to 10-30 year. While there was no design standard to a pumping station, 30-50 year is adopted for it. Besides, ‘Guideline for Management and Operation of Public Sewage’ was amended on January 30, 2011. By the revision, the areas susceptible to inundation can be designated as ‘Intensive sewage Management Areas’ and the sewage systems at the designated areas will be thoroughly checked prior to rainy season (mid-July).
And it also specified the procedures of managing public sewage systems against heavy rainfalls.

The advanced flood simulation technique was introduced and the checkup of sewage system was newly institutionalized in flood prone areas. In May 2012, Sewage Management Measures against Urban Flooding was prepared. The sewage system in the flood-prone areas will be upgraded, while 6 demonstration projects are being carried out from 2013 to 2015. Expanding on the demonstration projects, the sewage Management Measures will be extended to the entire country. By shifting the paradigm of storm water management, a  proactive and preemptive flood prevention system will be prepared with respect to climate change and meteorological disasters. By 2022, KRW 3.67 trillion will be invested in upgrading sewage pipelines with insufficient capacity, constructing storage facilities, and maintaining pumping stations at the flood-prone areas.

Last modified : 2013-10-23 17:58

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