Sub-Theme 3 | History of Swerage System Development in Korea
Korea's first modern sewerage system consisted of a main line and branch lines amounting to 225 km. These were improved by investing 475 million won over 22 years from 1918 to 1943, for the purpose of preventing overflow in the city, stagnation of sewage and pollution and disposal of discharged human wastes. This became the basis of Seoul's sewerage system. While some of those facilities were destroyed during the Korean War, a project for improving sewerage system was restarted with the postwar restoration project in 1954.
Before the 1960s, as part of the reorganization of city streets in an attempt to drain rainwater, sewerage was constructed. After that, since the five-year economic development plan began, its full length amounted to 1,057 km with a distribution rate of 21.1% in 1967 and 2,517km with a distribution rate of 57.1% in the 1970s. In August 1966, the Sewerage Act was established, which included requirements for the construction and management of a public sewerage system that could eliminate and treat urban sewage. In 1973, a legal basis to define the range of collecting charges for sewer and to restrict alternate uses of sewerage was prepared.
The rapid industrialization and growth of the urban population caused by the 1st and the 2nd five-year economic development plans resulted in an increased amount of waste water, causing the problem of river pollution, and as a result the interest in the construction of a sewage treatment plant for water quality conservation increased. Finally, in June 1976, the Cheonggyecheon sewage treatment plant that is Korea's first terminal sewage disposal plant was constructed, with a capacity of 150,000 tons/day, and in 1979, the Jungrang sewage treatment plant with a capacity of 210,000 tons/day was completed.
In order to procure investment resources, the implementation of sewer charges began in October 1983, and Tancheon sewage treatment plant was constructed in 1983 and Seonam and Nanji sewage treatment plants were constructed in 1984. To prepare for the Seoul Olympic Games in 1988, as a part of the Han river comprehensive development project, the four sewage treatment plants of Jungrang, Tancheon, Gayang and Nanji were newly constructed or expanded, and a daily facility capacity of 3.06 million tons was secured. In 1996, since the daily facility capacity of 4.05 million tons was secured in 1996, approx. 81% of 4.98 million tons, the total amount of sewage generated in Seoul per day, was able to be treated.
For the City of Busan, a master plan for sewerage was established in 1974 with the technical support of the West German government, and sewage treatment plants were planned targeting Suyeong, Nambu, Bansong, Haewundae and Songjeong region, and the Jangrim, Jungang Yeongdo, Gangdong, Jisa, Myeongji, Noksan and Gadeok region.
Also, expansion of sewerage facilities was mostly performed with a foreign loan that was acquired for supplying insufficient finances from the late 1970s to the 1980s. According to the status of the foreign loan in March 1995 from the internal data of the Ministry of Environment, with foreign loans acquired from ADB, IBRD, KFW, OECF, etc., the sewage treatment plants and the required sewers were constructed in the 15 localities including Seoul, Incheon, Busan, Daegu, Chuncheon, Daejeon, etc.
Projects implemented by acquiring foreign loans are largely classified into sewage treatment projects in manufacturing areas and projects in the urban area. In terms of projects in manufacturing areas, with a loan acquired from ADB, the sewage treatment projects for typical manufacturing areas such as Gumi, Banwol, Ulsan, Changwon, Masan and Yeocheon were generally performed. In 1979, a master plan for a sewage treatment project in five manufacturing areas was established, including a legal and institutional review related to a sewage project of the region affected, a review on the regional rates, a feasibility study on constructing the facilities and a maritime survey, and thus the pre-project planning phase was completed. Then, by acquiring additional loans two times, finances were secured to construct the sewage treatment plant, the intercepting sewer, the pressure sewer and the pressure pump station in Gumi and Banwol, and to construct the sewage treatment plant, the ocean sewer, the intercepting sewer and the pressure pump station in Ulsan, Changwon/Masan. In this way, sewage treatment plants were secured in five manufacturing areas. But due to the high rate of interest (7.6~10.5%) for the ADB loan, the governments has been working to repay it early since the mid 1990s. For the sewage treatment project in the urban area, financial resources were mostly secured from OECF. Typical projects for constructing municipal sewage treatment plants are those in the cities of Daegu, Daejeon and Jeonju, for which agreements were signed in 1980, through which financial resources were secured to construct municipal sewage treatment plants with a combined capacity of 500,000 tons/day, intercepting sewer of 57 km and branch sewer of 520 km.
Subsequently, to achieve water quality control of public waters, the Korean government implemented a policy of distributing and expanding the sewerage system, investing 26.1 trillion won in the sewerage project, which accounted for 91% of the total investment amount for the water quality control project that cost 287 trillion won, from 1993 to 2005. As a result, the sewerage penetration rate increased from 45.5% in 1995 to 83.5% in 2005. In this way, thanks to a policy of steadily expanding sewerage facilities, the sewerage penetration rate reached 90.1% in 2010, which is the level of advanced countries, in a very short period of time.
##3D_LAYER##[Table 6. Phases of Development of the Sewerage System in Korea]##3D_TEXT:Korea Environmental Industry and Technology Institute(2012) A study to select environmental ODA programs to establish Korean ODA models##3D_LINK:https://www.kdevelopedia.org/Resources/territorial-development/%ED%95%9C%EA%B5%AD%ED%98%95-od%EB%AA%A8%EB%8D%B8-%EC%88%98%EB%A6%BD%EC%9D%84-%ED%99%98%EA%B2%BD%EB%B6%84%EC%95%BC-od%ED%94%84%EB%A1%9C%EA%B7%B8%EB%9E%A8-%EC%84%A0%EC%A0%95-%EC%97%B0%EA%B5%AC--99201912270152468.do##3D_LAYER_END##
|Step 1 (1960-1970s)||Step 2 (1980~1990s)||Step 3 (Since the 2000s)|
|Policy objective||- Preparing measures to counter environmental pollution, and working to change the social consensus||- Preventing water pollution by expanding sewage treatment facilities. Improving implementation by establishing policy and revising the laws|
- Expanding the maintenance of sewers by proclaiming the first year of maintenance of sewage pipes (2002)
- Strengthening the foundation for science-based sewage management
- Establishment of anti-pollution laws (1963)
- Establishment of Sewerage Act (1966)
- Six comprehensive measures for water management passed, including measure to supply clean water (1989)
- Revision of Sewerage Act ( 1990, 1994)
- Preparing measure for constructing sewerage treatment facilities on the upper part of dam (2002)
- Comprehensive measure for maintenance of sewage pipes (2002)
- Change in public awareness due to environmental issues being raised by the press and experts
- Rise of environmental problems worldwide, related academic studies, and the introduction of overseas environmental information resulted in a paradigm shift
- Expanding sewerage treatment facilities in a short period of time through large scale investment under comprehensive measures for water management
- Systematically establishing and implementing policies by unifying sewerage works (Ministry of Environment)
|- Korean government proclaimed first year of sewage pipes and established and executed comprehensive measures for the maintenance of sewage pipes (2002)|
|Lead department||Ministry of Health and Social Affairs||Environmental Office, Environment department||Ministry of Environment|
|Constraint factors||- Most government policies focused on rapid economic growth, resulting in a low level of awareness on environmental issues|
- Concentration of sewerage treatment facilities in the urban area resulted in an imbalance between urban and rural areas in terms of the sewerage penetration rate
- Due to a delay of access to sewage pipes, actual treatment rate of wastewater flow less than the penetration rate of sewerage
- Due to a lack of funding for the maintenance of sewer pipes, finance program and auxiliary BTL project of sewer pipes were adopted
- Concern about shrinking of sewer industry caused by long term repayment of BTL principal
- Change in awareness of environmental issues affected major policy issues in Korea
- Scientific measurement to identify environmental problems and introduce pollution reduction technology
- Rapid increase in sewerage penetration rate
8.3% in 1981→35.7%(1991)→70.5%(1999)
- 4 sewerage treatment plants(1981) →22 plants(1991) →150 plants(1999)
- Increase in general sewerage penetration rate. 52.5% in 1996 → 85.5% in 2005.(90.1% in 2010)
- 86,000Km of sewer pipes in 2005. 68.2% penetration rate of sewer pipes (78.0% in 2010)