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Officials summoned for Incheon tap water crisis

Police said Wednesday they had called in Incheon city officials for questioning in connection with the reddish tap water problem that has swept through parts of the city over the past few months. 


The Incheon Metropolitan Police Agency summoned some 10 officials from the Waterworks Headquarters Incheon Metropolitan City as witnesses for suspected dereliction of duty in the wake of contaminated water first detected in Incheon on May 30.

They questioned the officials on whether the device measuring turbidity in water was out of order, mindful of the possibility that it had been intentionally turned off by someone.

Police raided their office for a search-and-seizure operation earlier this month.

Incheon residents filed complaints against Incheon Mayor Park Nam-choon and a high-ranking official from the Water Works Headquarters.

The Incheon city government believes the problem occurred in the process of switching tap water supply systems. Critics point to a lack of expertise of the personnel managing the water supply systems.

Meanwhile, Incheon said Tuesday it would exempt people affected by contaminated water from water bills for up to three months. It also plans to reimburse residents for the cost of buying bottled water or water filters as well as for medical treatment.

The city plans to install high-tech water treatment facilities and replace aged water pipes.

Some 635,000 residents in 261,000 households in Incheon were affected, according to the municipality’s estimate.

An Environment Ministry inspection team announced that the water quality in the affected areas in Incheon had been restored to normal levels.

By Ock Hyun-ju (