It’s important that drainage pipes serve their purpose of draining torrential rain waters away from roads and walkways. But many of the pipes in Korea have been found to be clogged with litter like cigarette butts and plastic bags.
Storm drains dotting the city streets were opened to reveal cigarette butts, straws, and all sorts of trash. There is even a sewer pipe where the rainwater drain is blocked completely with chewing gum wads and plastic wrappers.
[Soundbite] Lee Sang-hee(Drain Pipe Installer) : “People throw away diapers and restaurants discard cooking oil, which congeal and clog up the pipes.”
The pipes were cleaned a month ago ahead of the rainy season, but the trash keeps piling up just as quickly as it is removed. Storm drainage pipes in this market have been covered up because of the stink.
[Soundbite] “It stinks so much.”
So when torrential rain comes, the pipes cannot drain out water, causing the area to flood.
[Soundbite] Lee Seung-woo(Sewer Facility Team/Jung-gu District Office, Daegu) : “Stop throwing trash into the sewer pipes and remove the drain covers when it rains to make drainage easy.”
Local government bodies nationwide spend about 80 billion won annually to install drainage pipes. It’s a shame that carelessly discarded trash is causing urban flooding.