Purification Tech Installed Directly in Water Flow2004-10-29 11:42:05  
  HA&HA[reference : 7402]     
Purification Tech Installed Directly in Water Flow

Patent applications related to purification technologies that can be installed directly in water streams are increasing in order to ensure that the growing number of inter-city streams and reservoirs remain clean and clear. The water requirements include purification of Yangjaecheon, a stream located in the southeastern part of Seoul, and the restoration of Cheonggyecheon, a main stream passing through downtown Seoul.

Previous 'Polluted Stream Purification Projects' focused on the removal of deposits, construction of athletic facilities, parks, parking lots, etc. and covering revetments with concrete as well as straightening water ways. However, they lacked significant ecological considerations regarding the condition of the streams.

Recently, the projects are being converted into 'Nature-Type Stream Purification Projects (nature-friendly stream beautification projects)' by facilitating the growth of aquatic plants on the revetments and watersides to increase the self-purification capacity of the streams or by installing natural stream purification facilities to improve water quality and to protect and restore the streams' ecological system.

Keeping pace with the increase in natural water purification projects, various types of natural purification facilities have been developed. The methods include 'after treatment of inflow water into rivers or a lakes at the waterside; returning treated water to the water source'; 'installing purification devices directly in the water flow'; 'cleaning water by blowing air into it,' etc.

The waterside purification method treats water flowing into rivers or lakes at the initial stage after installation of small-scale sewage treatment plants at riversides and discharges the treated water. This method is applicable to places where plant sites can be easily secured at watersides.

Methods of installing a purification system into the water flow include floating media like plastics, gravel or strings with pollutant-decomposing microorganisms or inserting the media into water-flow boxes equipped with rods to decompose pollutants according to water stream or directly installing small-scale sewage treatment equipment on the bottom of the stream.

In addition, there are methods applicable to the places where the water flow is weak or slow. These include installation of direct air-supply equipment to increase the activity of natural microorganisms living in the stream or river and purification of polluted water by growing aquatic plants in reservoirs or by installing filter beds.

The patent application trend for the past 10 years showed a steady increase in natural purification technologies for streams and lakes beginning in 1995. Due to growing concern over the environment and expansion of investment, patent applications for the past three years reached 59, nearly a 10-fold growth compared with 10 years ago.



By technology, patent applications for water purification systems installed in the water flow accounted for the majority, or 53.9% of the total, in the past 10 years. In the past three years, however, waterside purification and air-supply technologies recorded more than 100% growth.

Patent applications for stream purification technologies will likely continue to increase in the future with the development of high-grade purification and treatment technologies for removal of nutrient materials, nitrogen, phosphorous, etc. due to reinforcement of water quality criteria, the increasing number of citizens utilizing riversides and research into environment-friendly purification technologies equipped not only with high purification efficiency but with an design that citizens can be comfortable with.

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