Sub-Theme 2 | Small-scale Waterworks in Rural Area
In Korea's rural areas, people would traditionally access drinking water by digging a well or carrying the water home from a natural spring. As standards of living gradually improved, people who could afford it would install a manual or an electric water pump in their yard. However, as the public wells or tube wells that the majority of farmers depended on were mostly located on the same site as their residences, there was the high risk of pollution from adjacent toilets and pens, and domestic sewage. In addition, due to the thinness of the aquifer, the filtration capacity was poor. Sanitary management of the well was difficult, and people would use it without disinfecting. In most cases, wells were in unsanitary conditions. For this reason, water-borne infections and water shortages during drought were quite frequent. To address this problem, the Korean government started to install simple water supply systems (renamed the village drinking water system in 2005) in rural areas in 1967 as a community development project. Since the early 1970s, those systems have been more actively distributed through the Saemaeul Movement. The Korean government provided 4,073 village drinking water systems for 2 years from 1976 to 1977, with government funds and a 2.57 billion won ($5.35 million) loan for the Saemaeul Movement from IBRD. 1.5 million people were able to benefit from this program, and the village drinking water system played an important role in supplying safe drinking water to the rural areas at that time
1. Definition of small-scale waterworks
Small-scale water supply facilities include the village drinking water system and small waterworks. Under the 9th clause of Article 3 in the Waterworks Law, the “village drinking water system”, according to the water supply system determined by the Presidential decree, refers to local governments’ general water supply that provides purified water to the population using water of 100 to 2,500 with water supply amount of 20㎥∼500㎥/d or a similar scale, and should be designated by the a head of local government. Under the 14th clause of Article 3 in the Waterworks Law, small waterworks refers to waterworks that are installed and managed by the community in common, with a population of less than 100 using the water and a daily water supply amount of less than 20㎥, and should be designated by a head of local government.
2. Operation management system and financial support
Currently, the head of local government takes legal responsibility for managing the village drinking water system and the small waterworks. According to the Waterworks Law, the state and the local government should provide technical and financial support for sanitary management of the village drinking water system, and a local government head, according to an ordinance of the local government, should properly run and manage the village drinking water systems under their jurisdiction.
Furthermore, a local government head, according to the regulation of the Ministry of Environment, should check the water quality of the small waterworks and, according to the ordinance by the local government, endeavor to improve and manage their small waterworks.
[Table 2. Management system of the small-scale water supply facilities]
|Village drinking water system
||A local government head (Article 47 in the Waterworks Law)
||A representative of the users council (According to the ordinance of the local government)
||Users (Local government can bear a portion of the cost)
[Table 3] is the national subsidies ratio for the water supply system, showing that projects for developing drinking water source in island areas, projects for developing water for living in rural areas, projects for improving small-scale water supply facilities, etc., are allocated as special accounts for regional development and receive national subsidies of 70%.
[Table 3. The national subsidies ratio for small-scale waterworks]
||Name of the project
||Type of financial support
|Special account for regional development
||Project to develop drinking water source in island areas
|Project to develop water for living in rural areas
||70(New construction), 80(Onwards)
|Project to improve small-scale water supply facilities
3. Treatment technology and water quality management
The water source of small-scale water supply facilities is mostly good quality underground water or valley water, which can be used without any special filtration. However, as there is a possibility that various pollutants will flow into the water from its surroundings, depending on characteristics of the water source, it can be used as drinking water or water for living after the treatment process. shows the general water treatment process for the water source of small-scale water supply facilities.
[Table 4. Water treatment process for various water sources of the village drinking water system]
||Water treatment process
||Water intake → Disinfection
||Water intake → Iron and hardness remova l→ Disinfection → Slow filtration → Disinfection
||Water intake → Plain sedimentation → Slow filtration → Disinfection
|Lake and reservoir water
||Water intake → Chemical pre-treatment → Plain sedimentation → Slow filtration → Disinfection → Coagulation → Precipitation → Rapid filtration → Disinfection
||Water intake → Chemical pre-treatment → Coagulation → Precipitation → Rapid filtration → Disinfection → Hardness removal → Disinfection
|River bed water
Slow development : Water intake → Plain sedimentation → Slow filtration → Disinfection
Rapid development: Water intake → Chemical pre-treatment → Coagulation → Precipitation → Rapid filtration → Disinfection
|Oxygen-poor surface water and reservoir water
||Water intake → Aeration → Chemical pre-treatment → Coagulation → Precipitation → Rapid filtration → Disinfection
|High-turbidity surface water
||Water intake → Chemical pre-treatment → Coagulation→ Precipitation → Rapid filtration → Disinfection → Grit chamber → Chemical pre-treatment → Coagulation → Precipitation → Rapid filtration → Disinfection
Water quality standard inspection for small-scale water supply facilities were performed on 16 items such as general bacteria, total coliform group, fecal coliform, or colon bacillus, ammonia nitrogen, nitrate nitrogen, smell, taste, chromaticity, turbidity, fluorine, Manganese, Aluminium, residual chlorine, boron and chlorine ion at least once every quarter. Items that has not exceeded 10% of the water quality standard limitation for three years could be inspected once every half year.
4. Water supply rate
As shown in [Table 5], In Eup and Myeon (towns), the rates of population served by the water supply system are 93.5% and 72.8%, respectively, which are low compared to City areas. However, if the small-scale water supply facilities implemented to improve the quality of life in rural areas are counted, then the rates would be increased to 97.2% for Eup and 92.7% for Myeon. Through these village water supplies and the small water supply facilities, the rate of the water supply in rural areas and the public health has been improved.
[Table 5. Rates of population served by water supply system]
※annotation: ( ) including small water supply