Water quality and ecological restoration
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Water Quality and Ecological Restoration. Bomchul Kim Department of Environmental Science Kangwon National University. Contents. Water quality issues in Korea Turbidity in streams and reservoirs Water quality survey project in Haean Control measures to improve water quality.

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Water Quality and Ecological Restoration

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WaterQuality and Ecological Restoration

Bomchul Kim

Department of Environmental Science

Kangwon National University


  • Water quality issues in Korea

  • Turbidity in streams and reservoirs

  • Water quality survey project in Haean

  • Control measures to improve water quality

Change of water quality issues in Korea

  • Before 1970s

    • No pollution problems

    • No concern about environmental conservation

  • In 1980s

    • High BOD from sewage

    • Fish farms installed in many reservoirs

  • In 1990s

    • Sewage treatment systems established

    • Active operations of fish farms within reservoirs

    • Eutrophication problems emerged

    • Algal toxins were reported

Current issues in 2000s

  • Turbidity and siltation – major ecological hazard

  • TMDL of BOD and TP for water quality management

    • Phosphorus removal from sewage

  • Biological assessment – new paradigm

  • Automatic monitoring – high frequency monitoring

Turbid water of the Soyang River on flood days that flows into Lake Soyang (July 15, 2006)

Increased rainstorm intensity

- Due to global warming ?

Two hot spots of turbid water discharge


Lake Soyang


Soil disturbance in Haean (2007. Mar.8)

Making flatter fields for better cultivation– a cause of erosion in Haean

Original slope

Made steeper

Made flatter

Tilling in Haean basin and the turbidity in Lake Soyang


Movement of turbid interflow in Lake Soyang(result of simulation by CE-QUAL-W2, 1996)

Turbidity increase in Lake Soyang

Turbid water lasts 3 months after summer monsoon in the Han River.

Reservoirs are filled with turbid water after monsoon.

Large dams prolongs the duration of turbid water in downstream.

Destroys aquatic ecosystems.

SAV is reduced.

Fisheries is reduced.

Turbidity problem in reservoirs

Water blooms in Lake Soyang after turbid storm runoff

<Wet years>

<Dry years>


Phosphorus loading into Lake Soyang

▲ increasing trend

Land use vs. water qualityComparison of clean streams and turbid streams- case study of two couple sites (in 2006)



A turbid stream (Jawoon) and a clean stream (Kyebang)

In 2007

A turbid stream (Daeki) and a clean stream (Bongsan)

Result : change and reduction of fish and benthos community

Water quality survey project in the Haean basin

  • Purpose : to evaluate effectiveness of soil erosion control and diffuse pollution control

    • To assess water quality improvement in subbasins w/wo erosion control measures

    • To assess efficiencies of each erosion control method

    • To quantify specific export of nonpoint source pollution

  • Period : six years from 2009

Site of investigation







Land use in subbasins (km2)

Water level measurement

  • Water level scales were installed.

    • Two automatic water level meter (sonic distance meter type) and two automatic water samplers will be installed in next year.

Str. Naedong

Str. Doonjunggol

Str. Kunjigol

Str. Seonhwang

Str. Chungryunggol

Str. Wolsan

Str. Mande

Rainfall in 2009

Pollutograph in rain events



Specific export coefficient (kg/ha/event)

EMCs (mg/L)

Effect of suspended sediment on fish

No fish is living in the Haean basin

Table 3. The export loadings(kg․yr-1․km-2) in each watershed.

  • The amounts of TP exported from these two basins were considerably high,

    compared to other many studies

Control measures of turbid water

  • Sociological strategy

  • Environmental management

  • Agricultural practice

Struggling to control erosion in Haean

sometimes…… in vain

To protect steep slope

Food vs. Water

  • Disturbed land → poor water quality

  • Conserved ecosystem → good water quality

  • Can we choose only one?

  • The goal of Korea.

    ;even with intensive agriculture → good water quality

    Is it possible?

Thank you

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