Larva in Running Water1)
2020 began with a COVID-19 outbreak. Even now, although half the year has passed, another incident has left the Korean fearful. Tap water in Incheon has been contaminated. It is not the first time a tap water incident has occurred in Incheon. On May 30, 2019, there was an instance of red running water. The incident that happened this year began on July 13, with a posting on an Internet community saying that they had spotted small movements in the shower filter. The posting said it looked like larva and upon further examination, it was indeed larva. After the post, more postings were made with people saying they had experienced similar things in the same area. After the first posting in Incheon, reports of larva in running water came in from other areas besides Incheon. Reports came from Gyeonggi-do Province, Seoul, and Paju. People were concerned about possible risks to their health. The Incheon Metropolitan city reported that the larva posed no risk to humans after an academic research investigation, which was announced on July 15. By July 23, the Ministry of Environment said it had received 1,314 reports of larva in running water, but only 281 cases were authentic. In addition, the Ministry of Environment conducted an emergency inspection of 49 water purification plants nationwide. It found larva at seven water purification plants, including the one in Incheon.
Searching for the cause of the larva in running water found a larva in the carbon filter paper filtering process, but not in the drainage or reservoir. In Incheon, it was uncovered that the charcoal filtration paper allowed the larva to live in the charcoal and flow into peoples' homes through the water pipes. Since the incident, people prepared for the worse by purchasing bottled water and adding extra filters to showers. The Incheon Metropolitan city initially decided to only support households infested with larva. However, the Incheon Metropolitan city's decision was met with anger from people claiming that the water they used was the same water used by infested households. As mentioned above, this is not the first time Incheon has had trouble with its water supply. Last year, after the red running water crisis, the water supply management system was changed and the water supply capacity and budget were increased. Despite last year's effort to ensure clean water, a new situation has occurred. The fundamental problem with Incheon's water supply may have not been resolved. Running water is an essential part of life, so it is important that authorities manage the situation well in order to regain the trust of citizens.
1) Park Hyoin, “More Than 800 Reports of Larva in Tap Water in Incheon…Long term between the term of replacement of Filter Paper at the Filtration Plant”, KBS NEWS, July 23, 2020