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Han River's water cleanest on record

All Headlines 10:24 February 17, 2011

SEOUL, Feb. 17 (Yonhap) -- The water quality of the Han River that flows through Seoul has been steadily improving over the past decades, with its pollution figures falling to the lowest point since their filing began in 1994, the Seoul Metropolitan Government and the Environment Ministry said Thursday.

The river's cleanest water quality on record is attributed largely to the metropolitan government's efforts to remove elements of pollution, including the creation of eco-friendly zones upstream, they said.

The Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD) level measured at 10 spots along the river was 2.3 milligrams per liter on average, they said. The previous record was 2.33 milligrams per liter established in 2003.

BOD is a chemical procedure for determining the amount of dissolved oxygen needed by aerobic biological organisms in a body of water to break down organic material present in a given water sample at a certain temperature over a specific time period. It is not a precise quantitative test, although it is widely used as an indication of the organic quality of water.

Last year's BOD level shows the river's water is clean enough to be used at homes and swimming pools with normal water purification procedures.

The local government attributed the improvement to its efforts to restore eco-friendly branch streams and the 2,044 millimeters of precipitation that fell in the capital last year.

sshim@yna.co.kr
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