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Authorities investigate reports of larvae found in Jeju tap water

Photo of worms found inside a showerhead at a residential unit in Seogwipo, Jeju Island, provided by a reader (Yonhap)
Photo of worms found inside a showerhead at a residential unit in Seogwipo, Jeju Island, provided by a reader (Yonhap)
Authorities are investigating tap water contamination in Seogwipo, Jeju Island, after residents reported finding larva-like creatures in water coming from their faucets.

The Ministry of Environment said Wednesday that it has dispatched officials to the southern island to look into the city’s tap water and check nearby water purification centers.

As of Tuesday, two Seogwipo residents reported to have found larva-like creatures inside a filter attached to a showerhead. Jeju Island’s waterworks authority confirmed the creatures to be from tap water and soon found more worms at a nearby water purification center.

The waterworks authority suspects that the worms have come from the water purification center, passed through its filtration system and water supply pipes to reach households. The water purification center has a capacity of 25,000 tons per day and supplies tap water to 31,000 residents.

Jeju Provincial Government asked residents to refrain from drinking tap water and, if any worms were found, immediately report it to the authority.

This is a second ‘larva-in-tap water’ problem this year. In July, the Environment Ministry conducted a nationwide inspection on tap water quality and water supply channels after a series of such encounters were reported. The Jeju facility in question was cleared of any problems at the time.

The Environment Ministry has called in three experts who investigated the first tap water contamination problem and organized a team of 23 to look into the Jeju case.

The larva problem in July first emerged in Incheon, where nearly 500 people reported having contaminated water, and then became an issue in other cities, including Seoul, Busan and Daejeon.

At that time, the ministry promised to pay extra attention to tap water quality and conduct maintenance work on old water pipes throughout the country.

By Ko Jun-tae (