Groundwater Quality Standards

Different groundwater quality standards apply to drinking water, residential water, agricultural and fishery water, and industrial water. Groundwater for drinking is subject to 47 items of drinking water quality standards under the Drinking Water Management Act, while non-drinking groundwater is subject to 14 to 19 items4)according to their purpose under the “Rules on Groundwater Quality Conservation, etc.”
4) There are 19 items in total, including 4 standard pollutants and 15 specified hazardous pollutants.

Groundwater Quality Standards (Non-drinking)

Groundwater Quality Standards (Non-drinking)

Any person, who has obtained a permit for or reported for development or use of groundwater, must undergo a groundwater quality test to determine whether these groundwater quality standards are met, and it is required to take the necessary measures to prevent contamination if limits are exceeded.

Groundwater Pollution Prevention Facilities

When developing or using groundwater, it is necessary to install groundwater pollution prevention facilities that satisfy certain standards <Figure 5-2>. This involves preventing the entry of pollutants by installing protective pipes on the ground surface, installing a protective wall (casing) under the ground surface to a depth of not less than 3m below the ground or not less than 1m below the rock line, and grouting by inserting water barrier materials in the space between the land and protective wall after excavation.

Structural Diagram of a Groundwater Pollution Prevention FacilityWater

Groundwater Quality Control in Areas of Contamination Concern

Concerns have been raised recently regarding groundwater contamination associated with mass livestock burial sites and natural radioactive substances, and corresponding measures are being prepared and implemented.

AI, foot-and-mouth disease, and other livestock diseases have constantly occurred since 2003 and livestock was buried in masses, and it has increased concerns over groundwater pollution in these livestock burial sites. Accordingly, the measures to control the environment of areas surrounding livestock burial sites have been enacted since 2008, such as plans to conduct environmental pollution impact assessments after livestock burials and environmental management guidelines for livestock burial sites.

There are 4,799 cattle and pig burial sites throughout the country resulting from the nationwide foot-and-mouth outbreak that began in November 2010. Accordingly, the pan-governmental “Comprehensive Plan on Livestock Burial Site Management” was prepared in February 2011 and the Ministry of Environment carried out water quality surveys in 3,000 groundwater wells in use near the burial sites, environmental impact assessments of 300 burial sites, and environmental patrols in livestock burial sites.

With the increasing level of public interest in natural radioactive substances, corresponding investigations and associated measures are being implemented. Since 1999, the first and second specific investigations have been conducted on the natural radioactive substance content of groundwater throughout the country; the third investigation will take place for 10 years from 2007 to 2016. Any area in which radioactive substances are found is addressed by taking measures such as giving it priority for water supply and developing alternative water sources. There are plans to prepare a comprehensive management plan that provides control limits for natural radioactive substances in groundwater and groundwater development guidelines for high-content areas.

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Last modified : 2017-12-12 08:38

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