As of 2012, the national waterworks distribution rate is 95.1%, excluding village waterworks and small water supply systems, but only 62.2% in the case of agricultural and fishing villages.
Groundwater sources such as wells that have been used from the past are often still operating for drinking water purposes without water quality tests in the most vulnerable areas of islands, coastal regions, and agricultural villages that are not supplied with waterworks. In some agricultural villages, total coliforms and nitrate nitrogen were found to exceed drinking water quality limits in 30% to 40% of samples. However, there are limits to managing the safety of drinking groundwater, as it is often used without declaration and water quality tests have a long cycle of two to three years.
Accordingly, the Ministry of Environment has been working towards expanding waterworks facilities in agricultural villages5) while also working on the “Safe Groundwater Service” project through water quality tests of drinking water and safe groundwater supply in an effort to supply safe drinking water via groundwater to vulnerable areas where it is difficult to supply waterworks.
5) Chapter 4 Waterworks, Sewage and Drinking water <Current Policy Focus> (1) Expansion of Waterworks Facilities in Agricultural and Fishing Villages
In order to achieve this, the Ministry of Environment carried out a pilot project from 2012 on free water quality tests to ensure the safe use of groundwater. A primary water quality test is conducted using a diagnosis kit regarding nitrate nitrogen and total coliforms, the limits of which are most frequently exceeded in agricultural villages. If the results of this primary test raise concern, a detailed water quality test consisting of 10 items is carried out and the local residents are notified of the results. If the results of the primary test confirm severe contamination, expert field surveys, investigations of nearby contamination sources, and internal well examinations using CCTV are carried out and the technical assistance necessary for groundwater quality control is provided.
Groundwater quality surveys have been carried out at 11,861 locations in eight si and gun areas until 2013, and safety measures were taken or drinking wells were provided according to the results. In 2014, water quality surveys will be carried out on 25,000, or 10% of drinking wells in selected target regions that are not supplied with tap water. Community education will be provided alongside contamination cause assessments and investigations of undeclared wells. Undeclared wells and wells that exceed the limits as identified by the investigations will be reported to the local government so that they can be addressed by legalization (tightened controls through declaration), facility improvements, supply of alternative water sources, and other such measures. In addition, a “Drinking Water Safety Management Plan for Vulnerable Areas” will be formulated to ensure systematic implementation of the project.
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Last modified : 2017-12-12 08:38
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