In order to supply even safer Arisu to the public, the city of Seoul expanded the number of its regular water quality testing parameters from 155 to 163 at the beginning of 2012. Consequently, it now performs its water quality testing according to the standards recommended by the World Health Organization.
Arisu is the name of the tap water of the city of Seoul. Originally, ‘Arisu’ was the name used by the Kingdom of Goguryeo (37 BC – 668 AD) to refer to the Hangang River.
The additional testing items were selected by referring to the standards of the WHO and other domestic and overseas institutions.
The final decision was made at a meeting of an advisory council composed of the city’s water quality evaluators and experts in the field.
The eight new testing items include geosmin, a cause of the recent noxious smell emanating from green algae.
Aside from the 163 items being tested at the moment, the city of Seoul is conducting tests on a further 140 items which are detected in small quantities but are not regulated yet. The tests have been conducted since 2007 and will continue until 2016.
In view of last year’s accidents at nuclear power plants in Japan and in preparation for any similar accidents elsewhere, the city of Seoul is also conducting tests on radioactive substances (134Cs, 137Cs, 131I) in an effort to eliminate public concerns about the presence of radioactive materials in the river.